Edna Still Dame for a Laugh; Hello Possums! Dame Edna Everage Is Returning to Newcastle as Part of a Farewell Tour. Entertainment Editor GORDON BARR Has the Details

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

PICTURE the scene - Dame Edna Everage in full outrageous costume at rush hour in Newcastle's Grey Street yelling to me: "Stop the traffic, possum, it'll take me ages to cross the road in these heels," before buying knickers and causing chaos in a nearby shop!

It happened, back in the mid-90s, when the part of Grey Street outside the Theatre Royal was still a busy thoroughfare.

I did stop the traffic and my face was as red as the nearby traffic light - but not as red as it was after going into the underwear shop Peaches and Cream with Edna, where she wreaked havoc.

Happy times, though, and nearly 20 years ago, but today I can reveal the Dame to end all Dames is heading back to the Toon - and back to the Theatre Royal - for her farewell tour.

Legendary entertainer Barry Humphries, whose alter egos have brought him international acclaim, will bring Eat Pray Laugh! to the Royal from January 21 to 25 next year, with tickets on sale from today.

It will give audiences across the country the chance to bid farewell to Humphries, one of Australia''s greatest entertainment exports, and his unforgettable characters: the Honourable Sir Les Patterson, Sandy Stone and, of course, the iconic Dame Edna Everage.

Dame Edna is one of the greatest stars of the last 50 years - the "housewife superstar" has played the West End and Broadway on numerous occasions, performing to packed theatres including the Royal Albert Hall at the Last Night of the Poms, as well as countless performances for the Royal Family.

Television credits include the legendary UK special A Night on Mt Edna as well as her own innovative chat show The Dame Edna Experience.

Act one of Eat Pray Laugh! features gentle, grandfatherly Sandy Stone and the inebriated cultural attache Sir Les Patterson.

This serves as "just a bit of foreplay really before I make an orgasmic appearance in act two," Dame Edna says! Surrounded by spectacular sets and dancers, Dame Edna promises to "empower" audiences as she meditates on the big issues of gender, ethnicity and climate change. …

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