Dress to Kill
Dress To Kill is the title of a performance by Eddie Izzard, and is a continuation of the British comedian’s surrealist, ideas-based comedy. The VHS was recorded during a performance in San Francisco, California, United States. However, the tour was a global one. During this tour Izzard also wrote the book Dress to Kill with David Quantick, which was published by Virgin Books in hardback in 1998 and in paperback in 2000.
Izzard’s humour includes observations on the American concept of history, beginning with his throwaway line “I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from” and continuing through diversions about the belief that all Europeans live in castles and the attitude of Americans toward historical landmarks. Additionally, Izzard takes time to explain his background as an executive transvestite and how it affected his desire to join the military. This is explained through a proposal for the Army’s “first battalion transvestite brigade…with fantastic makeup and a fantastic gun.”
The centerpiece of the performance is a retelling of British history from Stonehenge through to the Reformation. This is done with Izzard adopting a very Italian accent to signify the Pope talking to Henry VIII and explaining that he can’t marry as many wives as he wants to. This is set against the backdrop of Martin Luther pinning his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral, a paper that reads “Eine Minuten bitte. Ich habe einen kleinen Problemo avec diese Religione.” “He was from everywhere,” explains Izzard to great cheers from the audience. Similar to his use of Sean Connery as the voice of Henry VIII, he uses the voice of James Mason as the voice of God.