ENTERTAINMENT
19/11/2013 02:52 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 16:01 GMT

Eddie Izzard On His Force Majeure Tour: 'Life Is About Negotiating The Rapids'

"You've got one life, you may as well try and make things last," is how Eddie Izzard explains the ambition behind his stream of consciousness comedy, captured most recently in his 'Force Majeure' stand-up routine.

"There's no narrative in stand up and I want to get all these characters appearing, all that story stuff coming in, and leave the audience with a gut level high," he offers.

"I want you to have moved somewhere. Comedy is like a dessert, it can be very sugary, but narrative structure is the main dish. So, it's an ambitious combination of things, but I try."

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Eddie Izzard, happy negotiating the rapids - "you've got one life, so you have to try"

And that's without mentioning that Eddie performs the same show in French half the time - "I'm living another life then, but it's just the French version of me, still doing absurd humour, still the same gig."

Whether it be language, history, geography, science, Izzard's love of learning is evident in every line - does this make him a polymath? "Well, that sounds better than jack of all trades, or dilettante, which is even worse," he suggests - but whichever epithet you apply, it's as multi-faceted a career as any.

As well as comedy, straight acting, theatre, there's Eddie's political campaign - his plan to run for London Mayor - and, running through the rest, the marathons.

On the subject of running, Eddie is at his most philosophical, almost reverent.

"When I'm running around the UK, I feel almost like a Native American in my relationship to the land, in that they were born on the land, made love on the land, fought and died on the land, but had no ownership of the land," he reflects.

"I ran on those streets and they felt like they were mine, even though of course they were everyone's streets. And the more I ran, the distances became crazy-long, so I got this homeopathic, weird relationship with it, which is spiritual and very much connected to everyone."

Which doesn't sound dissimilar to his brand of wandering, inclusive comedy. How does he balance this with his strong political views?

"Some of it was bleeding in a bit, but I toned it down," he admits.

"Political stuff dates as well, specially if it's on the nose, but this is force majeure comedy, this is force of nature"... and he's off drawing another beautiful picture...

"We all need to be around forces of nature because there is an analogy with life.

"It's like white water canoeists. All paddling like crazy, and you could suggest they just stay still and go with the flow, but then the river would throw them on to rocks over there, so they have to paddle like crazy just to get round, navigate the rapids, and that's what I think life is about - we have to be our own forces of nature to negotiate the rapids of life, sometimes the river is plain sailing, and sometimes it's rapid."

What about his own rapids - any fear of performing?

"I can get scared from performing," he surprises me by admitting.

"If you jump gig sizes, you do need to be prepared. It would be like driving a mini and then trying to steer a large articulated lorry. You've got the licence, but the corners are still tricky."

Eddie Izzard's 'Force Majeure' is out now on DVD from Universal. Watch a clip of Eddie in action below...