Edna comeback 'a flop'

Poor reviews for Humphries' orchestral show

Dame Edna Everage’s first live performance in Britain for ten years has been slammed by critics.

Barry Humphries revived the 28-year-old show Last Night Of The Poms, featuring a full orchestra and choir, at London’s Royal Albert Hall last night – but received two-star reviews across the board.

Critics universally felt the big-budget musical element, a collaboration with conductor Carl Davis, got in the way of Dame Edna and Sir Les Patterson delivering their earthy humour.

And most reports noted that some of the audience left before the end – even though tickets cost up to £65 a seat.

In The Times, Dominic Maxwell said of the ‘ill-advised revival’: ‘The scale of the orchestration only highlight the lack of a comic spark to justify it… this curate’s egg of a show is not the way to relaunch his live career in Britain.’

The Guardian’s Brian Logan said: ‘The musical format squanders Humphries’ trump cards of spontaneity and anarchy. Upmarket, perhaps – but laughs-wise, this is down in the doldrums.’

In The Independent, Julian Hall wrote: ‘The show he has reprised here will short-change fans of the real essence of his legendary comedy characters.’

And London Evening Standard reviewer Bruce Dessau concluded: ‘First the Ashes, now this. It has not been a good summer for visiting Australians.’

Click here for Chortle’s review of the night.

Published: 16 Sep 2009

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