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11 Jul 9:51am

Barry Humphries: ‘I defend to the ultimate my right to give deep and profound offence’

The Guardian
The creator of Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson is back on stage with a show highlighting the dangers of censorship. He talks about living in a prudish age, sexual harassment and why he regrets voting for Brexit Barry Humphries’ latest stage show celebrates the music of the Weimar Republic – radical, risque and ultimately banned by the Nazis. The performer, best known for his monstrous creations Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson, believes there is no better time to highlight the danger of censorship. Today, Dame Edna’s sly prejudices and Sir Les’s outlandish views (his monologues are peppered with references to spags, slopies, muff-munchers and shirt-lifters) are regarded by many as relics. Some might even regard them as “degenerate”, just as Hitler did the art of the Weimar Republic. As for Humphries, he is scathing about what he calls “the new puritanism”. We meet at his agent’s office in King’s Cross, London. At 84, Humphries is super bright, fearlessly opinionated and more rakish than ever. Baggy check suit, bright green tie, matching pocket square that could double up as a tablecloth, snakeskin shoes and fedora, he looks every inch the Boho dandy.
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