So it seems only fitting that fans of the Australian favourite are granted an audience with her as she prepares to bow out of the limelight. That’s right, Barry Humphries announced in March 2012 that he would retire the Gigastar has he was now beginning to feel ‘a bit senior’.
As the curtain rises, we find ourselves on the set of Sir Les’ pilot TV series – Les Get Cookin’. And while he may now be swapping politics for life as a celebrity chef, he’s still the obese, lecherous and offensive figure we’ve all come to know.
Wearing orange shorts and a Hawaiian shirt straining over his bulging belly, Sir Les sprays the front rows with saliva as he talks us through his recipe for rissoles. He also spends much of his time ogling his long-legged female assistants or belching and letting off ‘trouser coughs’.
Boldly telling any sticklers for political correctness exactly what they should do, Sir Les is as near to the knuckle as he’s ever been with his toilet humour as well as sexist, racist and homophobic jibes. Classic Patterson!
The second act is devoted to Dame Edna and after black and white grainy film footage telling her life story, she arrives on stage on a mechanical elephant.
With a perfectly coiffed purple bouffant and wearing a sparkling turquoise gown, she reveals she’s spent time in an ashram as she’s turning her back on the celebrity-obsessed world.
There’s plenty of audience participation with those in the front rows being the target once more.
The show was not a disappointment in the slightest. Dame Edna Everage is, and will always be, a Nation’s favourite. She will always be a household name here in the United Kingdom.
The personal touches that Humphries added to each tour (naming Splott in Cardiff and various other parts of Cardiff), just made it feel like Dame Edna was coming to this city to see ‘us’ and no one else. A very homely feel indeed.
The mass gladioli-waving was a highlight for sure! Dame Edna hurled roughly 50-60 Gladioli into the audience and had them following her ‘Gladdi’ dance as she sang the show to an end – even stopping mid song when one audience member had her Gladdi pointing the wrong way!
A series of holograms of all of Humphries’ characters bidding farewell is a lovely touch at the end – before the man himself steps onto the stage to rapturous applause, saying: “You will come to my next farewell tour, won’t you?”
We will all be there, I assure you!