Drawing: Barry Humphries in Eat, Pray, Laugh

barry humphries

Australian comedian, satirist, artist, author and icon Barry Humphries is on his ‘Farewell Tour’ with Eat, Pray, Laugh,  marking his retirement form live entertainment after more than fifty years in the business. Barry’s forte is always his one-man satirical revues in which he appears as a number of his character creations.

My sketch of Barry and his alter egos – acid-tongued gigastar housewife Dame Edna Everage, the inebriated cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson and the gentle ‘returned gentleman’ Sandy Stone. Barry signed it for me at the London Palladium where Eat, Pray, Laugh opened in the UK in November. Prior to a national provincial tour.

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Caricature: Barry Humphries

barry humphries

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!

Drawing: Dame Edna and Barry Humphries

Sent my sketch of Dame Edna Everage to the New Wimbledon Theatre in January 2012 and received this back:

Barry H+Dame Edna001