Theatre: Lenny

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard has had a number of telling acting cameos recently - as the rock manager in Velvet Goldmine, the terrorist in The Secret Agent - but he is taking a major step up as the lead in Lenny, a West End revival directed by Sir Peter Hall. Julian Barry's play about Lenny Bruce, the comedian whose hard-hitting routines about politics scandalised America in the 1960s, was made into a tough film starring Dustin Hoffman in 1974. For this revival, the writer apparently especially asked for Izzard after seeing a video of his live act. It may well prove an inspired piece of casting: the styles of the two improvisational comedians are well-matched. In both their acts, the thrill of the unexpected constantly simmers below the surface.

Queen's Theatre, London W1 (0171-494 5040) booking to 16 Oct