Eat, Pray, Laugh!

Barry Humphries is having a farewell tour. He is certainly not everage, as they might say in Morningside. How many 79 year olds do you know who could cavort, bitch and sing their way through two and a half hours of barbed wit, never missing a beat, responding spontaneously and instantly to the uncertain foibles of interacting with the audience?
Those in the front two rows were right in the firing line, from Les Patterson’s unrestrained saliva to caustic comments from Dame Edna about their dress sense and stains on their clothes. Humphries was on fizzing form from the moment he bounded on stage in his Patterson leisure gear of hideous Hawaiian shirt and orange shorts. Patterson’s new career as a celebrity chef with an irritable bowel was launched to the tempting smell of sizzling onions, and the hideous sound of Sir Les in the dunny. A new character appeared, Les’s clerical brother Gerard, flashing an electronic tag and his big white teeth at the nice young man on stage. We then had a whimsical and poignant soliloquy from a deceased Sandy Stone, filled with sharp observations about age and death.
It was in the second half that Dame Edna arrived triumphantly riding on an elephant, kitted out Indian style in a most gorgeous outfit of eyeball searing bling. The lights went up, the repartee started. What followed included a mock wedding, and a telephone call to the home of one of the audience, where mercifully the answering machine kicked in to record a message of the whole Festival Theatre roaring down the line. Of course there were gladioli, which waved aloft got us all into the putting on coat position, the exiting position, and the standing ovation position. With remarkable alacrity Humphries himself managed to appear on stage to invite us warmly to all come again to his next farewell tour. Not to be missed!

Festival Theatre until November 9th.

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