Last night I went to see Sir Les Patterson and Dame Edna Everage at the Royal Albert Hall. What a disappointment. I last saw them on stage about 15 years ago. I remember leaving the theatre with my cheekbones hurting because I had laughed so much. It was rather different last night. It started well with Les Patterson delivering 15 minutes of the kind of filth we have grown to love him for - but then it all went wrong. He then proceeded to deliver a rambling monologue, accompanied by a full orchestra, about a story called "Peter and the Shark". It wasn't funny, it wasn't memorable. In fact, it wasn't anything. Few people could work out the point of it, apart from filling 25 minutes.
Then Dame Edna came on and did her usual stuff, all of which was amusing and well received. She then brought out this huge file and then spent thirty minutes giving is a musical history of Australia, again accompanied by an orchestra and also a full choir. There were moments of humour, but for the most part it was dreadful. The only bits of light relief came when she missed her cues completely.
OK, I suppose the Albert Hall isn't the idea venue for pure comedy, but I think most people just wanted pure, unadulterated Dame Edna and Sir Les. And what they got was something very different. I'd estimate that a sixth of the audience left before the end. I have to admit I was very tempted to join them.