Stage Door News

Toronto: Mirvish theatre will dim their lights on May 4 to honour Dame Edna

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

The lights of the Mirvish Theatres will be dimmed on Thursday May 4 to honour the life of Barry Humphries, the housewife superstar known to the world as DAME EDNA.

Australian-born Barry Humphries' seven decades' career included theatre, television, books and film. He played many different roles, but his most famous and celebrated creation was Edna Everage, an outrageous, garish and bigger-than-life character whom he used to skewer middle-class values and first performed in 1956. In time, as celebrities dominated global culture, Mrs. Everage became Dame Edna, an even more outlandish character in a purple wig and sequinned gowns. Dame Edna actually became a celebrity gaining world-wide success, including three engagements on Broadway and a special Tony award.

Barry played Dame Edna until almost his dying days. He died Saturday, April 22 in Sydney days after undergoing hip surgery. He was 89.

Barry starred at three Mirvish theatres: Dame Edna: The Royal Tour played in Toronto at what was then the Canon Theatre in 2000 (now the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre); in 2005 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Dame Edna: Back With A Vengeance and in Dame Edna's Glorious Goodbye - The Farewell Tour at the Princess of Wales Theatre in 2015.

As is the tradition in the theatre world, to honour his decades of bringing the best of satire to lovers of comedy, the lights of the three Toronto theatres in which he performed — the CAA Ed Mirvish, the Royal Alexandra and the Princess of Wales — will be dimmed on Thursday May 4 at 8 PM.

There will never be another Dame Edna, just as there will there never be another Barry Humphries. Toronto was privileged to have had both her and him play extended runs on our stages. Thank you, Dame Edna and Barry.

Photo: Dame Edna. © Lisa Maree Williams.