Hello Possums. I hope you don’t mind me calling you little animals that look a bit like squirrels. After all Dame Edna does and people seem to be quite pleased.
I hadn’t actually realised this until recently as I hadn’t really watched her on television. I doubt I would have gone to the theatre to watch Barry Humphries farewell tour and as such Dame Edna either – it’s just that it was a friend’s birthday and she invited me to come along. She did forewarn me that Barry could be quite crude. Being forewarned did not, however, stop me from sitting through the first quarter with my mouth wide open as he played the character of Les.
Les was the “step aside Gordon Ramsey” Australian cook who to be honest was disgusting. Disgusting with sexual innuendos that were a bit more than innuendos; the blatant language, the swearing and the hygiene. Then worse of all was the paedophile priest. I guess I had been warned though.
After these two characters it was toned down a lot, the second half of the first half was a deceased person talking about life and the issues and challenges his wife faced in a ‘care’ home. Actually quite insightful and thought provoking when I think about it. The second half was Dame Edna who took pleasure in insulting people as they laughed and played along as he got people to do unimaginable things. I had my mouth open a lot during this scene as well, though this time it was in fascination. Fascination at how people played along, inclusive of the couple who had seemingly been happily married for 42 years allowed Dame Edna to take them through a marriage recovery ceremony and then proceeded to give her their two daughters phone numbers to call them so that they could be informed of the successful marriage recovery.
However although my mouth was consistently open during this scene, it was different from the first quarter of the show. In the first quarter I was fascinated to look around me and determine that at least half of the people around me were at least 60 or so – old enough to have been parents to me. There was even a couple sitting in front of me with their box of After Eights (we always had After Eights at Christmas when I was small and it remains a ritual of mine today)
What made age significant is the way in which they laughed at the jokes, the swearing, crudeness; the innuendos that were far from pc (politically correct). I was so fascinated by this that I wished I had a seat on the corner of the stage, facing the audience so that I could watch and analysis their reactions. If they were so at home with this I wondered how they feel living in our much more contained society.
So much so that as folks shuffled past me for a break during the interlude I observed their faces in wonder. I noted an elder lady beaming as she slowly tried to get past. There’s no way I could do it, however, as she got close to me I wondered what she would say if I told her to fing well hurry up. After all it’s the type of language that people had been laughing at from the stage a few minutes earlier. Would she feel at home with that too and find it totally acceptable or would she feel insulted?
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