Eddie Izzard is returning to a New York stage this winter for an ambitious version of Hamlet in which the comedian will be the only one on stage.
Izzard will play all the William Shakespeare parts in a staging adapted by Izzard’s brother Mark and directed by Selena Cadell. Performances at Greenwich House Theatre will run from January 25 to March 3.
“It’s a great challenge but there is no point living and not going for challenges,” Izzard told The Associated Press on the eve of the play’s announcement. “You’re just at the edge of your skill set and pushing out even further.”
This Hamlet will ask Izzard to play noblemen, women, ghosts, soldiers, courtiers, lovers and fools.
“I want it so that 10-year-old kids can grab this. I want it for the people who don’t find Shakespeare easy, like I didn’t when I was a dyslexic kid,” Izzard said.
Hamlet sees Izzard, who uses she/her pronouns, reunited with her brother and Cadell after all three worked on a one-person adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, which played at Greenwich House and in London’s West End last year.
Izzard is returning with a dithering Prince of Denmark. “He was an accidental hero. I call him that because he really doesn’t get things done. And then in the end he does. But he takes five acts to get there,” she said.
Hamlet is being produced by WestBeth Entertainment, Mick Perrin Worldwide, and John Gore.
Izzard’s career includes the Emmy Award-winning stand-up Dressed To Kill, the FX series The Riches, the film Victoria & Abdul opposite Dame Judi Dench and the Broadway shows A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg” and Race.
“I have played multiple characters down the years and, yes, they have been comedic characters. But I realised it could be done for drama as well. And having done dramas now for over 25 years, I thought, ‘Why don’t I try that?’” she said.