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Review: Eddie Izzard, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Few thought that this was going to be an easy gig for Eddie Izzard, himself included.

The comedian is well known for his interest in politics, his support of Labour and he is planning to stand for London mayor, all credentials that make him the perfect candidate to put forward the case for Better Together.

And it's clear from listening to him that he is someone who cares about the land currently known as Britain and believes that everyone in it should have a say in the Scots indyref debate.

However, many believed that his decision to come out in favour of the Union and the choice of venue for his one-off Scotland, Please Don't Go show could prove to be a mistake.

How wrong they were.

Instead of being berated and derided like those before him who have come out in favour of the Union, David Bowie and Simon Cowell to name but a few, Izzard is met with positive adulation as he comes on stage in Edinburgh.

Appearing to deafening applause and a call of "Eddie I love you", the comedian looks quite taken aback, remarking: "A positive heckle, I wasn't expecting that, I was ready for a fight."

He's even got the backing and support of Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who's attended the show with Better Together's Alistair Darling.

Izzard said before the show that he found it quite an intimidating prospect but his bravery in choosing to come to Edinburgh to get involved in the indyref debate seems to have been rewarded.

He receives cheers as he tells the crowd: "I know some people might be against what I believe but whatever happens to Scotland I hope you have a good time.

"There must be people in Scotland who think we don't give a damn but I bloody well do.

"It all works and in 300 years Scotland's not lost its identity. If you watch a Scotland football match you can definitely see that you've not lost your identity."

With his nails painted with the Union Jack and European flags, the self-proclaimed transvestite seems hugely relieved by the reaction he receives saying: "I expected to get shouted at" before promising the rest of the comedy will be apolitical, an unusual move since politics is the reason for this one-off show's existence.

After sets from other comics, Izzard returns to the stage to deliver a fantastically surreal set covering themes such as human sacrifice, the Romans, whether kilts are really skirts and how to make the sport of dressage interesting.

There are moments when he touches on the subject of the referendum, stating "If you vote for independence you can still use the language" while discussing the evolution of English.

Signing off, a relieved looking Izzard says: "Vote how you vote but I would like Scotland to stay in the Union...but whatever happens be happy, live long and prosper."

His decision to give the profits from the show to Better Together seems to have kept Yes voters away from this gig.

He may have felt intimidated performing such a divisive show in the Scottish capital but the gamble seems to have paid off.

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