Friday 6 July 2012

Barry Humphries' Farewell Tour - Review

Barry's back for a final laugh...

Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour: Eat Pray Laugh! Is Barry Humphries’ (supposedly) last touring show of Australia, featuring his most infamous characters including the ever-intoxicated Sir Les Patterson, the posthumous Sandy Stone and Australia’s favourite Dame, Edna Everage. In his prime, Barry was known for his sharp tongue and clever satire of Australian culture; now at the ripe old age of 78, after almost half a century on stage and screen, I am glad to say that Barry still has it!

Born in the 1930s, Barry bore witness to the rapidly changing face of Australia in the 1950s and 60s, which is doubtlessly where much of his satire grows from. Melbourne housewife ‘Edna Everage’ is perhaps his most renowned creation, allowing Humphries a platform to famously criticise Australian culture and language through her irreverence and manner. My main concern going to the show was whether the laughs gained from a stereotypically 1960s icon would transfer to the present day, what with the development of technology, empowerment of women and general broadening of Australian culture and self-image.

Surprisingly, it did.

The man inside Dame Edna... care to compare?
Despite the fact that my friend and I seemed to be the only patrons under the age of 30, the updated jokes and re-envisioned satire of Australiana ran over quite well with the more mature members of the audience. I particularly liked the continuous slagging off of Gina Rhineheart, the mocking of the modern aged care system and Dame Edna’s thoughts on motherhood. Having not seen a live Humphries production before, I was pleasantly surprised to be met with not only traditional stand-up comedy by Barry Humphries’ characters but also Broadway-style special effects sequences and burlesque satire.

Barry’s characters launched onto the stage to tumultuous applause and left with a similar reception. When the real Barry Humphries walked onto the stage after the finale I felt the Capitol Theatre shake with applause as the legend himself waved out to us. Hopefully this won’t be his last farewell tour…

The Bottom Line: A thoroughly enjoyable night of laugh-out-loud satire and still fresh Aussie icons. Considering this might really be Barry Humphries’ farewell tour, I would strongly recommend buying a ticket and waving a gladiola for the last time.

Tickets are selling fast for Barry Humphries Farewell Tour, so get in quick and visit Ticketmaster for shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Gold Coast and Auckland. For Sydney performances, best availability is from the 11th of July. For more details, visit


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