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, race or celebrity status - everybody is equally and cleverly "picked on".

The delightful yet slightly snobbish Dame Edna Everage
opens the 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. 

Contentious and foul-mouthed Sir Les Patterson. AusNotebook Music & Creative.

  Sir Les Patterson (above)

After interval the audience is graced with the return of
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.

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.

  The delightful yet slightly snobbish Dame Edna Everage.  AusNotebook Music & Creative.
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 production.

Back With 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.


Barry Humphries (right)


Article written by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative 15/6/07
Photos courtesy of QPAC.

  Barry Humphries' latest stage production, Back with a Vengeance. AusNotebook Music & Creative.
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