diamond geezer

 Sunday, December 08, 2013

Saturday night at the London Palladium...

Eat Pray Laugh!
Barry Humphries' Farewell Tour

Expecting an evening of Dame Edna? No, the clue's in the title. Melbourne's housewife superstar does take centre stage for the entire second half, but expect a very different tranche of characters before the interval. Australia's cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson splutters forth, quite literally for those in the stalls, as he shows off some of his barbecue cooking skills. Vulgarity and inappropriateness are the order of the day, which may prove tough for those in the audience who aren't braced for it. Do the audience laugh because they recognise the inanity of the overt racism or because they agree with it - it's hard to tell. Les's reverend brother Gerard is inappropriate in an entirely different way (there's a reason he wears a prison tag) before the backyard scene changes to something unexpectedly ethereal. The tour's website insists that Sandy Stone is "perhaps Humphries' greatest creation", although his ghostly monologue isn't played for laughs, and may kick off several "what are we actually doing here?" conversations in the half time bar.

Dame Edna's shimmering arrival (on the back of an elephant) raises the pitch somewhat. She's found spirituality, that's the underlying theme, although it's a tentative hook all told. Much of the hour and ten is spent insulting the audience, indeed some would say bullying, so sharp is the Dame's wicked tongue. Pay extra to sit at the front of the stalls and you risk total ridicule, if you're very unfortunate. A substantial portion of the show consists of Ms Everage marrying off two members of the audience, a pretence which very much stands and falls on the enthusiasm of the pair chosen. Total success last night, with Barry extemporising brilliantly as the ceremony ended up with a phone call to the groom's mother in Germany. There are songs, there are routines about the family, and there's rather a good joke about a coffee enema. It all ends with gladioli, of course, and a final appearance from the man beneath the make up, smiling and taking his leave of the UK audience.

Edna's eight week run at the Palladium continues until the first week of January, before heading on a two month national tour. I'm not convinced the London show's worth the face value of the ticket (ouch), nor even that this really is his farewell tour. But at 79-pushing-80, and still fresh as a koala, you can only applaud Barry's comic aplomb, possums.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream