Thursday, October 15, 2009

Handling Edna

Barry Humphries speaks on the ABC 's 7-30 Report about his forthcoming unauthorised biography of Dame Edna Everage titled "Handling Edna" (she's threatened to sue) :

"Well, of course, she didn't try very hard to stay in touch with her suburban roots. She used to say quite early on her career, "The secret of my success is that I've put my family last." And she would recommend that to everybody. If you put your family first, they'll never thank you. Which is probably why Edna's family is rather spectacularly dysfunctional.

KERRY O'BRIEN: How do you compare 1955 Edna with the Dame Edna of today?

BARRY HUMPHRIES: There's a total difference. In those days, Edna was, well, a frump. She looked - she stood at her kitchen sink, like so many other women in 1955, wrist deep in grey water, peas and mutton fat floating thereon. She looked out through cracked venetian blinds at a dismal backyard littered with broken plastic toys. "Is this all there is?" she might have said to herself. So, because she was appearing in a passion play in Moonee Ponds, playing the role of Mary Magdalene, she wrote to me, according to this book and the postcard. I wish I could show you the postcard, but it's disappeared. She wanted my advice. Now, I was a very inexperienced actor. I'd barely done more than Edna in the theatrical field, but I'd had a bit of publicity. So she wrote to me and this partnership began.