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LAYING IT BARE: The Barry Humphries: The Man Behind the Mask show will hit the stage at the Newcastle Civic Theatre on May 5 and 6 and Darling Harbour Theatre in Sydney on May 17 and 18. Tickets: www.tegdainty.com
LAYING IT BARE: The Barry Humphries: The Man Behind the Mask show will hit the stage at the Newcastle Civic Theatre on May 5 and 6 and Darling Harbour Theatre in Sydney on May 17 and 18. Tickets: www.tegdainty.com SIMON SCHLUTER

Barry Humphries: The Man behind the mask

CELEBRATED Australian performer Barry Humphries AO CBE promises "an intimate, confessional evening - seasoned with highly personal, sometimes startling, and occasionally outrageous stories" - as part of his Australian tour.

The Barry Humphries: The Man Behind the Mask tour will see Humphries at his funny best, peeling back the facade and introducing the man behind the clown who has entertained us for more than 60 years.

Humphries has made us laugh by holding a mirror to Australia and Australians and revealing their virtues, their foibles, their triumphs and their failings through a gallery of adored characters, including Dame Edna Everage, Sir Les Patterson and Sandy Stone.

Now he will spin the mirror around, exposing his own highs and lows, the good times and the not so good. Themes include Humphries' Australian childhood, family relationships, attitudes, career and his experiences as one of the world's most acclaimed entertainers.

"This is a show in which I am the principal character; it's not Les, it's not Edna, it's not Sandy Stone. It is really about this character called 'me'. I'm not in disguise," Humphries said.

"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. 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."

The show promises plenty of laughs and an opportunity to ask questions and Humphries said the magic of technology may even allow appearances - or interruptions - by unexpected guests.

"Audio-visual technology has made dramatic strides in my life and it's now possible for me to be on stage with one of my own characters. They may intrude. I might be interrupted," he hints.

"I might even be upstaged!

"I'm rather proud of what I've done in my career. It's constantly surprising, it's very stimulating and it's wonderful to look back on, and to look forward too."

The tour hits Newcastle (May 5-6), Brisbane (May 10), Gold Coast (May 12-13), Canberra (May 16), Sydney (May 17-18), Melbourne (May 23-24), Adelaide (May 30-31) and Geelong (June 2). Ticket information via www.tegdainty.com.



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