Dame Edna booking
The man behind Dame Edna and nauseatingly funny cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson. One of the
world’s most popular stand-ups, fresh (unlike Sir Les) and topical for over 50 years.
John Barry Humphries, who was born on 17 February 1934, was the son of a well-to-do builder. He
was educated at Melbourne Grammar School, before studying Law at Melbourne University. However,
he became more interested in performance art, and dropped out after two years. He soon became
Australia’s leading exponent of the deconstructive and absurd art movement, Dadaism. The first stage
sketch featuring Mrs Edna Everage, ‘Olympic Hostess’, premiered in December 1955, but appeared
only occasionally until the 1960s, as Humphries was involved in many other stage projects. In London
he began to write for Private Eye, and was a regular on the BBC’s satirical ‘Late Show’. The character
of “Dame” Edna Everage took off in the 1960s, making Humphries famous, although “her” name is
now much better known than his. Over a career of nearly 50 years, Barry Humphries has written many
books, including a novel, made scores of recordings and written and produced films and television
series’. He has also acted as himself and as Dame Edna, with his first appearance being in
‘Bedazzled’ in 1967 as Envy. He has also acted as himself in ‘The Bliss of Mrs Blossom’ (1968), ‘The
Getting of Wisdom’ (1978), ‘Shock Treatment’ (1981) and ‘Selling Hitler’ as Rupert Murdoch in 1991.
Humphries also acted in ‘Immortal Beloved’ in 1994, ‘The Leading Man’ in 1996, ‘Spice World’ in 1997,
‘Finding Nemo’ in 2003 and he will be appearing in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ in 2012 and
‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ in 2013.
As Dame Edna, he has acted in ‘The Adventures of Barry McKenzie’ in 1972, ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely
Hearts Club Band’ in 1978 and ‘The Marsupials: The Howling III’ in 1982. Humphries has also
appeared as Dame Edna on ‘Saturday Night Live’ several times, ‘Parkinson’, ‘Friday Night with
Jonathan Ross’ and ‘The Graham Norton Show’. Edna has produced records and books of her own,
broken theatre records in England, and won fame and critical acclaim in the US. Humphries’ other
comic characters, mostly parodies of Australian culture, include Edna’s nephew, Barry McKenzie;
inebriated cultural attache, Sir Les Patterson; and socialist academic, Neil Singleton. He has also
remained a serious landscape artist. Humphries lives in Britain and the US, but makes frequent visits
to Australia. Amongst his many awards and honours are the Order of Australia; honorary doctorates
from Melbourne and Griffith Universities; the J.R. Ackerley Prize; the Golden Rose of Montreux; a
Special Tony Award; and the Outer Critics Circle Award. He was also awarded a CBE in 2007 for his
services to entertainment.
On 19 March 2012, Humphries announced that he will be retiring both Dame Edna Everage and Sir
Les Patterson after his next tour as he feels too old to be doing it at the age of 78.
Price hire Dame Edna
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