Dame Edna Everage

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Broadway Poster of Dame Edna

Dame Edna Everage is a character played by Barry Humphries. She claims to be the most popular and gifted woman in the world today: investigative journalist, social anthropologist, talk show host, swami, children's book illustrator, spin doctor, icon, housewife, superstar, megastar and more recently, gigastar. She is also a noted actress, including a rather large role in the series Ally McBeal.

Everage consistently denies being a fictional character or drag act. In 1979, she was the subject of a BBC Arena mockumentary: "La Dame aux Gladiolas", in which she described Humphries as her "entrepreneur" or manager. She has frequently said that the thought of a man dressing up as a woman for entertainment purposes, is to her, physically repulsive and makes her sick to her stomach. (Humphries, on the other hand (despite the occasional pretence that it was silly for anyone to suggest he had any relation to her beyond that of a very dedicated admirer) freely states that she is a character he plays. His tone nevertheless suggests he feels a slight dissatisfaction with her continued denial that they are one person.)

Supposedly born Edna May Beazley, in the small outback town of Wagga Wagga, Dame Edna started her stage career on December 19 1955, as Mrs Norm Everage, an average Australian housewife from Moonee Ponds, a Melbourne suburb.

Everage spends her time visiting world leaders and jet-setting between her homes in Los Angeles, London, Sydney, Switzerland and Martha's Vineyard. She is the Founder and Governor of Friends of the Prostate and the creator of The World Prostate Olympics. She is a friend and confidante of the Queen.

"I was born in Melbourne with a precious gift. Dame Nature stooped over my cot and gave me this gift. It was the ability to laugh at the misfortunes of others."

She was on Broadway around the turn of the millennium, and again four years later ostensibly not performing, but seemingly holding court for the benefit of her many admirers. On these occasions, she would interact with several people seated in the audience (who showed no evidence of being anything other than ordinary theater goers), subjecting them to left-handed compliments and embarrassing supposed advice "meant in the most loving way possible". One activity was phoning the home of such a person, in order to question the family's foreign-born baby-sitter.

Madge Allsop, her supposed friend and "bridesmaid", is often present when she meets the public. Madge, a New Zealander, suffers through insults and callous treatment with the air of a servant who is unable to leave her employer.

Her family, never seen, are:

  • Norman Stoddard Everage (Norm), her late husband and long term sufferer of a "rumbling prostate".
  • her daughter Valmai (currently in shoplifters rehab.)
  • sons Bruce and Kenneth (described in various terms that suggest they may be gay men who are partly in the closet, though she shows no awareness of the possibility)

She also has a mother who was incarcerated in a "maximum-security twilight home."

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