After 58 wonderful years in show business, Barry Humphries presents a fun-filled final farewell, ‘Eat, Pray, Laugh!’ currently on tour throughout UK theatres until March 8th of next year. Known for his characterisation and humour, Barry is joined by a few dancers and a pianist, though the hilarity of each of the personalities is the equivalent of brand new person for each. Barry introduces us to three of his best loved creations and one relatively new one. During the first act we are introduced to the infamous Sir Les Patterson and Sandy Stone.
Retired from his career in politics, Sir Les has turned to a new profession – a TV chef. His bigoted and discriminatory commentary received a great deal of laughter from the audience, who were a little too keen in enjoying the racist remarks aimed at the rest of the world. Through all the euphemisms, innuendos and saliva, however, we did get to say a fond goodbye to the character, first created back in 1974, in a one man show performed in Sydney. Sandy Stone, an elderly ghost from the suburbs of Melbourne, was a slightly more profound affair, delivering a soliloquy concerned with his previous life, and the empty room in his house. It was a lovely part to end the first act on, with Sandy strapping himself into a chair, before ascending to the heavens as the curtain fell for intermission.
The second act was, as expected, pure and simple Dame Edna at her best. As always, her comments are ruthless yet hilarious, referring to those in the dress circle as ‘paupers’ or ‘Les Miserables’. Her entrance on a large bejewelled elephant matched her flamboyant and alternative attire, designed we are told by favourite son Kenny. In this final performance we find out about her family, dogs and even her interesting relationship with the Dalai Lama. The delivery is truly wonderful, and the final rendition of ‘Eat Pray Laugh!’ was complete with gladioli and a rousing standing ovation. A final note was delivered by Barry himself, leaving us with a proper goodbye, and an appeal for every one of us to attend his next farewell tour. It is true that the world will be a little less fabulous without our Dame.