Seven Big Australians
Anne Pender explores the lives and creative work of seven extraordinary performers who have brought joy and hilarity to generations of Australians through their memorable characters on stage and television, and in their potent satire, musical comedy, revue, drama, stand-up acts and one-person shows. Carol Raye, Barry Humphries, Noeline Brown, Max Gillies, John Clarke, Tony Sheldon and Denise Scott pioneered home-grown humour, transformed the image of Australia, intervened in political life, and brought Australian comedy to the world. They created iconic figures, including Mavis Bramston, Dame Edna Everage, Clarke and Dawe, Bernadette in Priscilla Queen of the Desertana mesmerising impersonations of prime ministers. In Seven Big Australians, Pender interprets the lives of these significant comic actors, offering vivid biographical portraits of their childhood and family of origin, their struggles to enter the entertainment industry and the art they created over many decades. Drawing on extensive interviews conducted with each actor over many years, Pender documents their experiences of the hardships of breaking into the industry and the challenges of staying there, the gruelling nature of daily life as a performer, the demands of working in multiple forms, the realities of script writing under pressure and the exhilaration of performing. These actors are significant cultural figures whose lives are awe-inspiring, momentous and magical. Book jacket.
Publication Date: 01-Apr-2019
Publisher: Monash University Publishing