Nowhere was that famous adage more evident than at Royal Albert Hall last Tuesday night. Dame Edna Everage, the first lady of Moonee Ponds, held a capacity audience under her indomitable power for the only London performance of Last Night of the Poms, creator Barry Humphries’ skewed musical journey through the history of our great southern land.
Resplendent in a floor length red frock, adorned with more sequins than you can shake a gladioli at, Edna and her dulcet tones hit on everything from wildlife to immigration in typically un-PC and hilarious fashion.
Despite a feud with the grand dame, cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson made an appearance in his self-confessed ‘’ever-tasteful’’ style.
Opting for single rather than double entendres, the pinot grigio enthusiast belched and spat his way through narrating battler tale, Peter and the Shark.
Collaborating with feted composer Carl Davis, Humphries has crafted a show that effortlessly blends bawdy stand up with genuinely rousing musical numbers. Thanks to the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Click Go the Shears, Boys has never sounded so elegant.
Heavy with colloquialisms, (drongoes, budgie smugglers and even Cootamundra got a mention), there was ample fodder for those less au fait with Aussie in-jokery. Edna’s kindly offering of fashion advice to Princess Camilla was a particular hit.
Ending the evening with a sing-along, musing the confusing lure of Australia, to a standing ovation, Edna definitely proved her point; that everyone falls under the spell of her ‘infectious self-esteem.’
Review by Anna Prytz