BACK WITH A VENGEANCE – Barry Humphries
If you're a fan of 'political correctness', you
might feel slightly uncomfortable in Barry
Humphries' latest stage production, Back with a
Vengeance. The show is full of
cutting jokes, but ensures success by
treating everyone the same. It doesn't matter what
sexual or political preferences one has, what class,
celebrity status - everybody is equally and cleverly
The delightful yet slightly snobbish Dame Edna
show with her “50 Years on the Stage”
routine, clad in a
sparkling red evening dress.
Andrew Ross provides fine piano backing, while
Dame Edna continues charming her way to the hearts
of the audience as she playfully makes sarcastic
remarks at their expense.
After Dame Edna's exit, the next act is the
contentious and foul-mouthed Sir Les Patterson.
Dressed in a very fitting light blue suit, Sir Les
spits and slobbers in his usual crass
form. Les does not hold back, poking fun at local
and national events, celebrities and politicians.
His wife, Lady Gwen Patterson, also gets a mention,
“She’s been having a touch of the Harvey Normans
lately, no interest for twelve or eighteen months!”
The ghostly Sandy Stone is the next character
to hit the stage.
Sandy delivers a woeful monologue about the fate of
his wife, who after his death loses all her money in
a telemarketing scam and surrenders to Alzheimer’s
disease. He continues to deliver tales of
life's disasters in his miserable form.
Sir Les Patterson (above)
After interval the audience is graced with the
Dame Edna Everage strutting in her “glamorous
frock” - a rainbow dress of high camp style. She
launches into the theme song ‘Back with a
Vengeance’ with an accompanying dance. Dame
Edna then encourages the audience to remember at
this years' federal election, ‘do we really want
a prime minister called Kevin? Isn’t this a little
down market, even for Australia?” She mentions
how the Queen has a lovely sense of humour though
‘it doesn’t come across on the coins’ and
gloats that Madonna only uses the nickname Madge to
copy Dame Edna’s New Zealand bridesmaid, Madge
Allsop which shows how much Madonna wants to be like
Dame Edna later tells the audience, “I was a
failure as a mother, and I blame my children for
that!” Of course, it would not be a Barry
Humphries production if some of the audience were
not individually targeted - some were lucky enough
to get a photo taken with Dame Edna on stage after
having jokes made at their expense. On the opening
night in Brisbane, Dame Edna performed a wedding
ceremony between two strangers, and telephoned the
groom's mother in Rockhampton.
Towards the end of her stint, Edna breaks out into a
gospel style song with amusing lyrics, 'Wave
That Glad'. At the end of the show, in her
traditional style, Dame Edna throws her favourite
gladioli flowers out to the audience.
Dame Edna Everage (above)
The show says a final goodbye when Barry
Humphries graces the stage to receive a
well-deserved standing ovation, which shows the
audience's delight and the success of his
A Vengeance - A show full of laughs and aussie
humour. Absolutely not to be missed. A
hilarious night and a rare privilege that may be a
once in a lifetime opportunity.
Brisbane:Thursday 14 June 2007 - 24 June
2007 inclusive. QPAC.
Article written by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music
& Creative 15/6/07
Photos courtesy of QPAC.