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Barry Humphries to reveal 'the man behind the mask'

InReview

Barry Humphries is returning to the Adelaide stage next year as part of a national tour of his new show – but this time Dame Edna, Sir Les Paterson and Sandy Stone won’t be the stars.

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The 83-year-old comedian, satirist and author will instead treat fans to a glimpse “behind the mask” and share tales about the highs and lows he’s had during his lengthy career as well as stories from his childhood.

“This is a show in which I am the principal character; it’s not Les, it’s not Edna, it’s not Sandy Stone,” he says.

“It is really about this character called ‘me’. I’m not in disguise.”

Titled The Man Behind the Mask, the show will open in early May in Newcastle, NSW, with two performances scheduled for Adelaide on May 30 and 31 at the Festival Theatre.

“It is the story of my generation, it is a story of a life spent in the theatre and a life spent in comedy, and it will show what it is like to be a clown,” Humphries says.

“In a way, this is perhaps the bravest thing I’ve ever done and I hope the most entertaining. I think people might be agreeably shocked and they certainly will learn much they didn’t know.”

Promoter Teg Dainty says there will be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions, and that audio-visual technology may “allow appearances – or interruptions – by unexpected guests”.

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