Barry Humphries has a face destined for caricature. I was visiting Sydney in early 1991, actually I was visiting Sydney every year since the late 70’s … but on this particular occasion Barry was performing his solo show, The Life and Death of Sandy Stone – his third most recognised alter-ego behind Dame Edna, the Melbourne housewife with a rampant ego and Sir Les Patterson, cultural attaché to the court of St James. Sandy Stone is the ‘returned gentleman’ – a digger from WWI.
I saw this great pic of Barry in a local rag, so I drew this caricature. I thought, he could keep the original and sign a copy for me… so I sent 4 copies for good measure. I could donate one or two to my favourite charities.
I dropped it off at the Theatre. I’m not sure which one, I think the Philip Street Theatre where Barry had connections since the late 50’s.
Anyway, a week later a parcel arrived back in New Zealand with the copies all signed… as you would expect with a witty twist. This one is simply his sig. On the others – remembering it was a copy of the same sketch – he wrote “I like this one,” “this one’s not me,” and “not a bad likeness”.
I couldn’t get a ticket to his show – sold out – but he is doing a farewell tour, which is headed for London later this year and includes Sandy Stone. So here’s hoping!