News: Edna Everage Opening Night

Barry Humphries

If you judge a show on the number of celebrities you spot in the audience Barry Humphries' opening night at the Palladium must rank as a massive hit. This was biggest star-spot I've ever encountered. Cynics usually dismiss the people that come to these things as the kind of people who would go to the opening of an envelope and then still slip out the back door when the red carpet paparazzi have knocked off, but this was very much the A list rather than the Z list. Well, it might have been Z list as well - I'm not a TOWIE fan so I'm the wrong person to ask - but it was very much A list too. And I think they all actually stayed for the full show.

It says something abut the wide appeal of an icon like Humphries/Edna Everage that the range of names was so wide. Who else can attract both Elaine Paige and Bo Burnham? Or Paul O'Grady and Paul Daniels? Among the others I saw shuffling into their seats were Tim Minchin, Martin Clunes (in a rather fetching Duke of Windsor-style suit), Ruby Wax (or maybe it was Kathy Lette, who was also there), Tim McInnerny (being called "darling" by all the Blackadder fans and luvvies, no doubt).

I somehow managed to avoid Richard E Grant, Louis Walsh, Craig Revel-Horwood and Bonnie Langford, but caught a glimpse of Michael Parkinson, Tom Conti, Jim Carter, Jon Culshaw and  John Hurt in the interval. I'm not usually starstruck but John Hurt's long white beard was almost as impressive as Edna's performance. A eview of the show rather than the facial hair of the audience will appear in the Evening Standard on Monday.


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