Barry Humphries to Return to U.K. for Farewell Tour in Fall 2013
By Mark Shenton
Barry Humphries, best known as the creator behind Dame Edna Everage, will return to the U.K. from his native Australia for what is being billed as a "farewell tour" to present a new show entitled Eat Pray Laugh! It will begin performances at the Milton Keynes Theatre Oct. 23, then tour to Cardiff and Edinburgh, before a planned West End transfer at a venue to be announced for Christmas 2013.
Humphries will also reprise his other characters, the Honorable Sir Les Patterson (the constantly inebriated Australian cultural attaché) and the gentle, grandfatherly Sandy Stone, in the show. In the words of Dame Edna, this serves as "just a bit of foreplay really before I make an orgasmic appearance in Act Two."
Dame Edna, the self-styled "housewife superstar," has played the West End and Broadway on numerous occasions over the last half century, including appearances at the Royal Albert Hall and seasons at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Strand and Piccadilly Theatres, amongst others. On U.K. television, Dame Edna has presented her own chat show "The Dame Edna Experience."
The show is directed by Australian theatre director Simon Phillips, who directed the recent West End and Broadway productions of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, with design by Tony Award winner Brian Thomson, who designed the original Australian and London productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and The Rocky Horror Show, as well as the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games.
To book tickets for the first three dates of the tour, contact the venues: Milton Keynes Theatre (Oct. 23-26, 0844 871 7652, www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre), Cardiff's Wales Millinium Centre (Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 029 2063 6464, www.wmc.org.uk) and Edinburgh's Festival Theatre (Nov. 5-9, 0131 529 6000, www.edtheatres.com).
London venue and performance details are still to be announced, together with additional touring details.
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