The Dame Edna Experience - The Complete Collection (Series 1/2 & Specials)
Now you can get it all in one space. How spooky! And how gorgeous.
Dame Edna's talk show, which she explains is actually a monologue interrupted by total strangers, must be seen to be believed. Not for the faint of heart (she can find a double-entendre hiding inside of silence), her guests are sent up without mercy by this genius of the stage. They range from a "terrified" Sean Connery to Joan Rivers to Larry Hagman to Germaine Greer (an old school chum, actually) on an all-girls night, to former Ministers (including Prime), all of whom struggle to keep up with Dame Edna's wit and energy (you will hang on to your chair for dear life when she begins to dance), and manage to laugh at their own failure to do so--I have yet to see someone manage to hold their own when face to face with her. With a crack research staff, she manages to know and confront her guests with what they seemed to have thought were secrets from dim memory--if you've ever caught her on Jay Leno's show, you'll have seen the deer caught in the headlights look her guests end up wearing as she drops some piquant morsel "just between us," on national television, lovingly says the most appalling things to her "celebrity guests," all in the name of "caring and sharing" with her "adoring public." I guarantee that you'll be laughing so hard it hurts, especially when she uses her state-of-the-art technology to abort interviews in astonishingly final ways.
To understand the genuine genius behind this character, read John Lahr's book, "Dame Edna and the Rise of Western Civilization" and you will be impressed by the thought and purpose of Barry Humphries work in the creation of Dame Edna. Frequently mis-labeled a "transvestite" and rather strangely slotted into "gay-themed" entertainment in this country, while adored in Britain by all sorts (I once had an hour-long discussion with one of the Beef-Eaters at the Tower of London about which interview was the funniest), Dame Edna is a character so thoroughly and consciously created that her autobiography, "My Gorgeous Life," was shelved at bookstores in the Non-Fiction department, helping to further blur the line between character and real person. First appearing about 30 years ago in Australia as a satiric commentary on the aspiration to mediocrity that Barry Humphries observed in his country, Dame Edna was at first merely an "ordinary housewife" who appeared on stage and on telly to indict what Humphries felt was his countryman's complete oblivion to art, literature, and in fact anything beyond the acquisition of goods that personified what we in America call "keeping up with the Jones'". Eventually the character emigrated to England, where she became a Housewife and Superstar, friend to the Queen, advisor to the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and long-distance confidant to the bewildered president, Mr. Reagan, who has phoned her while she was taping to ask if he was still the President. In Thatcher's brutal England where the poor were mercilessly cut loose and the emphasis on middle-class consumption was at an all-time high, Edna came into her own, receiving her status as a Dame of the Empire, and taking Ms. Thatcher's own words, "care and share," and using them to draw attention to the ultimate hypocrisy and cruelty of the PM's regime. With her silent Bride's Maid and Traveling Companion," Madge (played by Emily Perry, who is one of the world's greatest mimes--no, not the leotard & white-faced sort--the silent actor sort), who is used to receive her mistresses' most pointed barbs and to be a foil to Edna's blatant self-absorption, she finds a way to decimate her guests while never once losing their good-will towards herself. Nor does she lose ours, as her genius is saying that which we are all thinking, but would never dare to utter. By doing this, she takes us along on the ride of our lives, as both celebrities and we willing serve ourselves up to her gratefully, glad to bask in the reflection of her glory for just a few moments.
See her live in a city near you--she tours constantly--but don't sit in the first 6 rows, unless you're willing to end up on stage yourself at the end of the show, and see for yourselves what it is to serve yourself up!-- but until then, enjoy watching her treat celebrities like ordinary people, just as she treats the ordinary people in her audiences as celebrities. This Mega-star of the extraordinary face furniture, 100% natural Wisteria-colored hair, and razor-sharp mind will keep you entertained to within an inch of your life.