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The Fondest of Farewells!

Published by: Cameron Lowe on 12th Feb 2014 | View all blogs by Cameron Lowe

Review by Mark Ridyard

Eat, Pray, Laugh - Barry Humphries

Barry Humphries arrives at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow with his worldwide “Eat, Pray, Laugh” tour, bringing with him a host of his well-known characters to produce a memorable and, at times, stomach-churning evening!


Sir Les Patterson - Eat, Pray, Laugh!

Fresh from a residency at the London Palladium, the first half of the show features Sir Les Patterson – the obscene, obese and offensive Aussie – trying to convince some television executives that he is the man to front a series of “Aussie-tucker” cookery shows. As he belches and farts his way through the foul-mouthed mayhem, he also succeeds in drenching the first row of the audience in spit as his cooking, rather predictably, doesn’t quite turn-out as appetising as he had hoped! Those in the audience who wanted to see Les at his outrageous best were not disappointed, as Humphries treated them to a whole host of sexist, racist and chauvinistic ramblings, plucking two reluctant audience members from their seats to assist with the cooking.


Gerard Patterson was the next character to arrive – Humphries newest creation turns-out to be Les’s brother and a catholic priest with an unhealthy attraction towards young children. In the short time that he is on stage, we are treated to a dramatic exorcism which leads to the appearance of Sandy Stone, now deceased, who brings some real pathos to the evening with stories of losing his 4-year-old-daughter and his wife’s breakdown. This shift in mood, from the slapstick of Les to the tragedies described, are a testament to the versatility of Humphries as a performer, and the range of characters he continues to bring to life more than 50 years since he first began performing.


Act Two opens with a TV-documentary-style retrospective of Dame Edna’s life, before the great lady herself enters the fray to thunderous applause from the captivated audience.  Wearing the most sparkly of dresses, and most outrageous of spectacles (of course), we are treated to what can only be described as “vintage Edna” as she prepares to bid goodbye to the world of showbusiness.


People sitting in the first few rows of the stalls visibly curled-up in their seats, fearful that Edna would single them out for a gentle ribbing (which, in most cases, isn’t gentle at all!), and the old girl doesn’t hesitate in working her way through, in her opinion, the more shabbily-dressed members of the audience. Two more audience members join Edna on the stage, providing her with even more opportunities for ribbing and “honest” feedback about themselves.


The show closes with a song and dance number, with the small cast of singers and dancers who have supported Humphries throughout the evening taking their deserved bow with the great man himself – who then returns, as himself, for a short and heart-felt monologue before disappearing into the darkness.


Dame Edna - Eat, Pray, Laugh!

For a man who turns 80 next week, Humphries’ performance belies his advancing age – a few lines are stumbled-over but, with almost two-and-a-half-hours of stage time, he can be forgiven for not being word-perfect. His energy, enthusiasm and genuine warmth for the appreciative Glasgow audience, combined with countless “laugh-out-loud” moments throughout the evening, are the most fitting way to bid a fond farewell to Humphries and his wonderful comedy creations.



Eat, Pray, Laugh! Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour

Tues 11 – Sat 15 February


Box Office: 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee)



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