Eddie Izzard took on 23 male and female Hamlet roles as trans tribute

The comedian and actor said it was important to her to honour each of the roles as a trans person.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 06: Eddie Izzard visits the SiriusXM Studios on March 06, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
Eddie Izzard plays all 23 roles in Hamlet. (Getty Images)

Eddie Izzard has said it was important to her to play all of the male and female roles in her new version of Hamlet in tribute to being a trans person.

The comedian and actor appeared on Friday's Loose Women to talk about her one-woman show that sees her play all 23 roles.

Izzard also spoke about how she had been affected by her mother's death as a child and how it influenced her love of acting.

Eddie Izzard has an exhausting task in her new adaptation of Hamlet - the comedian plays all 23 roles in the two-and-a-half-hour play.

Izzard is known for taking on gruelling challenges, including having completed 131 marathons, but told Loose Women why her latest feat was so personally important.

Eddie Izzard attending the world premiere of Doctor Jekyll at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. Picture date: Wednesday October 11, 2023. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
The star said it was important as a trans person to honour the male and female characters. (PA Images via Getty Images)

The star explained: "I am playing Ophelia and Gertrude as well as all the male characters and I'm doing honour to both, as a trans person I would like to do that. The reviews in America seem to have backed that up."

So far, Izzard has performed the play in New York and Chicago, but has now returned to the UK where it is playing at London's Riverside Studios.

Izzard's elder brother Mark has adapted the play and she said: "This is William Shakespeare's Hamlet, so it is one of the highest bars of acting that we know."

Izzard also spoke about her feelings on the right-wing political discussion about "culture wars" as a trans person: "Why do they choose wars? I think they're trying to stoke it up. It's such a heavy duty word. I'm not having a war, I'm just sitting here."

She added: "The year that Boris Johnson was doing his Bullingdon year, I was coming out as trans, that was back in '85, so I think I had a more fulfilling year in 1985 than he did."

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Suzy Eddie Izzard attending The Olivier Awards 2023 at the Royal Albert Hall on April 02, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard explained how losing her mum had sparked her ambitions. (Getty Images)

Izzard's varied career has spanned stand-up comedy, acting, politics and endurance sport, but she said the grief of losing her mum as a child was what had set her on the path to stardom.

Asked when she first became interested in acting, she said: "Mum died when I was six, so I was seven, almost eight," before describing going to the theatre to see a play that included some child actors.

She continued: "One kid was getting a really good reaction and the audience's affection. I thought, I need the audience's affection instead of mum's affection as a substitute.

"But it is a conditional affection, I have to do good work... I think it's a swap in my head."

Loose Women airs on ITV1 at 12.30pm on weekdays.