Dame stages farewell to her pos­sums

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

IT’S crude, rude, offensive, clever, witty, sex­ist, racist, with spat­ter­ings of saliva, se­quins and bucket loads of glad­i­oli – Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour, Eat, Pray, Laugh!, is truly fab­u­lous.

In a so­ci­ety that tries so hard to be po­lit­i­cally cor­rect, Humphries’ char­ac­ters, in­clud­ing Sir Les Pat­ter­son, Fa­ther Ger­ard Pat­ter­son, Sandy Stone and of course the fab­u­lous Dame Edna Ever­age, are so un­po­lit­i­cally cor­rect that it’s a breath of fresh air.

Say­ing good­bye to his Aus­tralian fans, who he has en­ter­tained for 56 years, is go­ing to be dif­fi­cult – maybe not for the Mel­bourne-born comedian, but it will be for us, the peo­ple he has made laugh for more than half a cen­tury.

A hi­lar­i­ous, three-hour romp, Humphries’ Eat, Pray, Laugh! opens with the in­fa­mous Les Pat­ter­son, dressed in Hawai­ian shirt, shorts, Crocs and socks, plus the strate­gi­cally placed ex­tra sock in his pants. ‘‘Aus­tralia’s an­swer to Nigella Law­son’’, he fol­lows the pop­u­lar cul­ture theme of run­ning his own cook­ing show, Les Get Cookin’.

Flanked by two tall, sexy blondes and two buffed, pretty boys, who reap­pear throughout the show in dif­fer­ent guises, the Aussie lar­rikin has no short­age of jokes about Ju­lia Gil­lard or Craig Thomp­son, sprin­kled with plenty of rude cook­ing in­nu­en­does.

Set in a back yard fea­tur­ing the iconic tin gar­den shed and man­i­cured green lawn and TV aeri­als, Humphries goes from the drunken, grop­ing Les, to the blow-in guest, dodgy Fa­ther Pat­ter­son, who wears a se­cu­rity an­kle bracelet that beeps and lights up each time he ap­proaches the at­trac­tive, tal­ented pi­anist Nick Len, who sits on stage all night tin­kling the ivories.

Barry Humphries pulls the cur­tain on tour­ing with

Throughout the show, Humphries throws in plenty of po­lit­i­cal observations about Ru­pert Mur­doch, Ju­lian As­sange and Gina Rine­hart.

The more som­bre char­ac­ter of Sandy Stone gives 78-year-old Humphries a mo­ment to sit, rest and philosophise.

The sec­ond half gives the au­di­ence what they’re wait­ing for – the ev­er­glam­orous Dame Edna Ever­age, who ar­rives on a life-size ele­phant. In a ret­ro­spec­tive of Dame Edna’s life, we are told of the heartache celebrity life has brought the star and how she’s un­der­gone a trans­for­ma­tion.

She’s say­ing farewell to the cult of celebrity that has let her down and with that Dame Edna launches into her re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence at an ex­clu­sive ashram in In­dia, where Ge­orge Clooney, John Tra­volta and the Dalai Lama were guests. With au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion, Dame Edna flaw­lessly at­tacks men and women sit­ting in the crowd, re­veal­ing how clever Humphries is with his quick­wit­ted and spon­ta­neous hu­mour.

Edna talks about how her chil­dren and her brides­maid and side-kick Madge have let her down, and af­ter many ses­sions of reiki, group hugs and psy­chic work­shops, there are only three things you need in life: to eat, pray and laugh.

With Jenny Craig deals and guest ap­pear­ances on tele­vi­sion no doubt we haven’t seen the last of Humphries’ char­ac­ters, but Aus­tralia will be a lesser coun­try with­out the hi­lar­i­ous, cyn­i­cal ob­ser­va­tion of our Dame on her tours.

In Dame Edna’s fi­nal song she sings ‘‘surely you’ll do al­right with­out me – some how’’. Well Edna, we don’t think we will, some how.

Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour plays Jupiters The­atre from Au­gust 25-31.

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Dame Edna Ever­age

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