Missed Demeanours & One Word improv
In 1995, Eddie came up with an idea for an improvisational radio series, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May that year. Titled Missed Demeanours, Eddie and Stephen Frost captained 2 guest teams and the show was chaired by Neil Mullarkey. The basic formula of the show was that each panellist must give a brief, light-hearted history of a person/place/event, only half of which is true, and to reach the end of their account without being challenged too often for lying. According to Stage and Television Today, “most of the lies….were pretty obvious. The humour came from the panallists’ responses more than anything else.”
In the summer of that year, 2 weeks became available at London’s Royal Court Theatre. Initially Eddie was invited to do some stand-up but he saw it as a great opportunity for more improvisational work, again with Stephen and Neil and various guest performers. The show, Improv MD, worked on the basic idea that the audience would give the performers a theme to use as a starting point for a sketch. The show was a surprise hit and Stephen, Neil and Eddie took the show to the 1995 Edinburgh Festival before going on tour throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, Amsterdam, Paris and 2 nights at London’s Astoria Theatre with what had by then evolved into One Word Improv (audience members give the performers one word to work with), taking their favourite guest performer, Suki Webster, with them.
In 1997, One Word Improv returned to the West End for a limited 7-week run at the Albery Theatre.
transvestite exécutif “….so inventive and razor-sharp are they….they produce explosively funny moments.” Today
“Blissfully funny shambles….there are moments of sheer delight..” Daily Telegraph
“With the aid of three assistants, Eddie Izzard gives the ailing art of improvisation some electric-shock treatment….thanks to the man in fashion-victim trousers, One Word Improv is ab fab.” James Rampton, Independent Weekend Section
“One Word Improv is four inner children in a sandpit, and not an authority figure in sight.” The Observer