Where do I begin talking about this utter legend? Well I suppose I could start with saying that going to see Barry Humphries live really is as great as you’d expect.
Performing his swan song ‘Eat, Pray, Laugh!’ for New Zealand audiences, we get to see our favorite characters from the last six decades from this iconic Australian performer.
The Honorable Sir Les Patterson will leave even the most experienced ears blushing as he dishes out innuendoes and blue jokes during his first outing as a celebrity chef. Les doesn’t let a few trouser coughs stop him as he leers and jokes through the first part of the show. Some audience members nearer the stage may have wished for an umbrella during parts of his performance.
We also met a new charater, Les’s Brother the Rev. Gerard Patterson, who makes a brief but unforgettable appearance due to his fondness for a certain young male pianist.
Arriving with a puff of smoke was Sandy Stone, who took the show in a more sombre, but poignant direction with a beautiful monologue and tear jerking exit.
However it was the Dame herself that stole the show!
Before the show, as we shuffled along in the queue waiting to get to our seats I had a good look around at our fellow audience members.It was pretty clear who their favourite character was.
Sparkly frocks, feather bowers and large bright spiraling glasses adorned many ladies, and indeed gentleman around us all clutching their wepon of choice, the Gladioli of course!
I met these two lovely ladies before the show, true fans!
In true Edna style the second half opened with all the pomp and ceremony you would expect from this queen of the comedy stage.
Dame Edna Everage is every bit as sharp and clever as she has always been. A joy to behold with a fearless wit and even more fearless and envious style.
She refers to us as having taken the Edna pilgrimage and praises all her fans even those in ‘the cheap’ seats, or as Edna puts it ‘Les Misérables’.
This week we have been Keeping Up With Auckland based Hip Hop group Eddie Numbers.We have been fans ever since seeing them live in February, which we wrote about here. Ingrid spoke to Eddie Mohan, MC, ahead of their video release party on the 28 July for the track Never Rap Again.
Photo credit Oscar The Grouch
So what can you tell us about your new video?
” I can tell you that it wouldn’t have happened without the help of Andy Day , The Cut Press and Jack Riddell. Just like all our videos it was without any funding help so thank you to the people I just mentioned for making it happen. In terms of the storyline I don’t want to give to much away so come to the release party 28 July and be the first to see it.”
Is this the first single from your album?
“I guess so but I wouldn’t really call it a single, we just wanted to make a music video for this particular song. I have a lot of respect for the DJ’s and stations that play our music they don’t need to be told which song to play. Also we were intent on people respecting this record as an album so when talking to stations we gave them the album and basically said play what fits.”
What inspires you to write music?
“My surroundings are what inspire me and my life is where I get my lyrics from.”
If there is any poor souls out there who don’t know Eddie Numbers can you tell our readers who are Eddie Numbers and what are they about?
“Eddie Numbers are a 5 piece Alternative Hip Hop band, members being myself Eddie or Edgar to my mum , Tyla Pere , Regal , Baz and Ben Healey on Guitar. We are five totally different people from totally different backgrounds I can only speak for myself so perhaps the below video would answer this question best.”
Awaiting the start of the show on opening night of Guru of Chai my eyes darted around the small and simple set surveying the array of instruments on the stage, but I was still none the wiser as to what was to come.
Enter a poor chaiwallah, (Jacob Rajan) an over excited, animated, bucktoothed Indian tea seller, and Dave (David Ward) his muted friend. They were ready to tell us a story, to allow us to be relieved of our emptiness, escape our ‘painful urinations’ that we inevitably suffer from and enter their world to become enlightened!
It was with this introduction that we were transported to a chai stall in a hot Bangalore Central Station. Accompanied by Dave, who provides both harmony, melody and atmosphere throughout the 90 minute performance, our raconteur told the tale of the abandoned seven sisters who sang for a living at the Chai stall all those years ago.
What followed was nothing short of enchanting and magical, but also hilariously funny. Using the Indian fairytale of ‘Punchkin’ as inspiration, Indian Ink Theatre Company have produced a modern spin on the ancient art form of storytelling.
The plot has all the twitsts and turns one should expect but what wasn’t expexted was how expertly Jacob and David would collectively bring these characterss, places and emotions to life. Jacob’s portrayal of our canny narrator, with a penchant for cock fighting, is brilliantly funny and endearing. A few useful props where key in some of the joy, laughter and sadness but other than that only one ruled the stage and that was Jacob.
The beautiful music and song composed by David Ward enabled the audience to drift further into this world and his talent only hightened our senses to become effortlessly immersed in the compelling yarn being spun on stage.
After the performance I lost count of how many conversations I overheard praising this inspiring and heartwarming tale told so expertly by the talented duo. The most notable comment I heard was one lady saying ‘I just thought all those people were there! He brought everyone to life!’
Justin Lewis – Indian Ink Theatre Company
Speaking after the show director, writer and executive producer, Justin Lewis announced a future season in New York and the beginnings of a Film.
Jacob Rajan speaking after opening night at Q Theatre
This show is an original and modern triumph in storytelling and compelling theatre. A fantastic show that really should be everyone’s cup of tea!
Guru of Chai is on at Q Theatre, Auckland until the 21 July and opened this week.