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The reviews for the Australian shows, in Sydney and Melbourne, seem to be positive compared to those of the U.K. Barry Humphries spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald before the concerts and said of our hero, “So far there has been no resistance to the idea of having Sir Les appear… but there is sure to be a whole body of resistance afterwards.”
In the second half the urbane intelligence of Humphries made way for the carefully honed repulsiveness of Sir Les Patterson, who led an audience rendition of O'Hagan’s Along the Road to Gundagai.
We sang along to the 1922 classic, the theme to the Dad and Dave radio show, Along the Road to Gundagai and cringed, ogled and applauded as Sir Les hammed up the Humphries’s original Chardonnay, a waltz cum drinking song in supremely bad taste.
Guest pianist Dejan Lazic, who was onstage for Sir Les’s act, was one of the few who looked bemused that such a repellent character was a star attraction.
The Patterson song cycle paid tribute to Peter Dawson, Australian jazzman Graeme Bell (still going strong at 95) and Rod Stewart, with Sir Les’s seminal version of Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? finding the ACO in disco mode.
The second half was given over to Sir Les and Dame Edna. Spitting profusely and groping his “trouser-snake”, Sir Les’s blue-streaked banter was more compelling than his Rex Harrison-like speech-singing in a bracket of classic popular songs.
Then it was time for the gloriously repulsive Sir Les Patterson to take charge of the show. He was full of booze-fuelled enthusiasm and the front row probably wished they had been issued disposable ponchos to protect them from the shower of fragrant spittle that rained down.
Equally delightful were his renditions of songs including The Stockriders' Song and Along The Road To Gundagai, as well as fabulously cringe-worthy versions of Chardonnay and Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?.