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Following the death of Barry Humphries in April this year, the world mourned not only for the giant of Australian character comedy, but also his darling creation: Dame Edna Everage. 

Costumes worn by Dame Edna in her heyday are now on display at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Smorgon Family Plaza until August 30. 

The free display was curated from the Australian Performing Arts Collection, and as well as classic costumes donned by the Dame, the exhibition includes programmes, screenplays and artefacts from Humphries’ ascendency. 

Arts Centre Melbourne’s head of curatorial Margot Anderson said the display aimed to evoke a sense of nostalgia while also exploring the rise of the comedian. 

“We chose three costumes that have been favourites with visitors in the past. Barry Humphries donated a rich selection of Edna’s costumes over many years creating a lively record of her rise from humble beginnings in 1950s Moonee Ponds to international ‘megastardom’ in the 1990s,” Ms Anderson said. 

“These costumes all have Edna’s trademark pizzaz and three-dimensional quality that would have made her performance on stage even funnier.” 

“In addition to the costumes, we’ve selected items from Barry’s extensive collection including programmes, photographs, and correspondence that capture the many facets of his career.” •

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