We braved the rain and cold on Friday to go and see Barry Humphrey’s farewell show and it was hilarious.
In the first half of the show, Sir Les Patterson engaged a couple from the audience to help him cook a BBQ on stage in his ‘back yard’. In the process, he managed to use a long list of irreverent ‘one liners’ to make fun of virtually every ethnic and cultural group that exists – especially Gays, Asians, Italians, Catholics, and Mexicans. He referred to Julia Gillard As ‘Fanta Pants’. This all occurred in between violent sessions in his backyard dunny as he ‘suffered’ from the affects of Montezuma’s Revenge that he picked up in a recent trip to Mexico.
Second, Barry Humphrey’s character Sandy Stone, gave a detailed view of his life in Glen Iris and the surrounding streets and parks. He was most upset that his wife had experienced a terrible time in a nursing home. He just seemed to nail the popular impressions of aged care when he said that the standard form of entertainment was to wheel the inmates of the home into the recreation room, sit them around the walls facing the centre to watch a large screen TV with the sound turned off. He reported that at one time, his wife had a bad fall and was lying on the floor in agony. He was sure that someone on the staff would have helped her up, if only that task had been in their job descriptions.
After intermission, the inimitable Dame Edna appeared, riding on an elephant and then proceeded to take the Mickey out of various audience members in her one person act that continued for almost an hour. She stated that she was retiring and had enjoyed a very full life. In a little repartee with one woman in the audience, she asked her if she had any regrets in her own life – other than going to the hairdresser who had done her hair! She asked another woman about her home to find out that she lived in a 1950’s style house in Hawthorn. Dame Edna’s reply was that ‘something nice must have been demolished in order for that house to have been built’!
In a final apearance, after Dame Edna had thrown her gladiolis to the audience, Barry Humphries appeared on stage to thank the audience for coming to the theatre and hoped that we would all come again to his next final show. Was this a hint that we should have some hope yet that Dame Edna will live on a little longer?