AUSTRALIA’S self proclaimed “housewife gigastar” Dame Edna Everage sang her swansong last night as Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour arrived at Southampton’s Mayflower theatre.
Well it was not quite the final curtain as the legendary comedian opened a five-day run of his show Eat, Pray, Laugh! at the theatre that last hosted his cast of colourful characters some 26 years ago.
Foul mouthed Sir Les Patterson – resplendent in his summer outfit – kicked off the show by welcoming “Southampton as the gateway to Portsmouth”.
But this did not dampen the enthusiasm nor did the amazing capacity to generate and deliver large quantities of spittle across the front row.
It was hands on from the start with Sir Les plucking a couple from the audience to help him roll some rissoles for his barbie while he struggled with his incontinence.
Les was to be outdone by his depraved and perverted priest brother Father Gerard who holds a seance which conjures up the ghost of Sandy Stone.
The show took an expected moment of light and shade here with a satire of how we treat the elderly – perhaps a reflection of Humphries’ advancing age, now knocking on the door of 80.
But after the interval Dame Edna showed age was no barrier to her irrepressibly, glittering and commanding presence, which when turned on the audience saw some of them star struck.
As a parting gift she married a hapless couple hand picked from the crowd followed by some risqué laughs and toe curling moments.
The show ended with one last farewell sing song with the Dame and her glamorous assistants flinging her trademark gladioli to the audience who soaked up the last act of one of Britain’s – and indeed the world’s – best loved comedians.
Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour is at the Mayflower until Saturday, February 1.