Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Dame Edna's Breakfast Dress

  • Object:

    Costume

  • Place of origin:

    London

  • Date:

    1997 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Adnitt, Stephen, born 1949 (Designed)
    Murray, Dominic (made)
    Sandberg, Mathilde (made)
    Willis, Sally (made)
    Megastar Productions Ltd

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Polyester crêpe, dip-dyed and decorated with plastic, polyurethane foam and PVC simulations of food and cutlery

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Barry Humphries

  • Museum number:

    S.3400-2015

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 55, Clore Study Area, case CA3, shelf 5

The Australian actor, satirist, author and comedian Barry Humphries, born in 1934 in Australia as John Barry Humphries, has become a much-loved and celebrated figure on stage and television in Great Britain as his alter-ego character Dame Edna Everage whom he originally created in the 1960s as a drab housewife from the Melbourne suburb Moonee Ponds. As Edna metamorphosed from a dowdy woman with hat and handbag to a glamorously spectacled gladioli-obsessed 'gigastar', 'squillionairess' and Dame, Humphries ensured that his outfits were as eye-catching and flamboyant as his creation. He regularly worked with the designer Stephen Adnitt to create his witty and ingenious costumes, after they met at London Television in the late 1980s when Adnitt was working on the programme The Dame Edna Experience.

With its design based on a gingham tablecloth and plate of cooked breakfast complete with cutlery, the Breakfast Dress is an excellent example of a witty costume thoughtfully created to relate meaningfully to his audience - in this case the staff at the baked beans' factory that Edna was visiting for one episode of the BBC television programme Dame Edna's Work Experience, produced in 1996 by DLT Entertainment UK.

Physical description

Costume designed by Stephen Adnitt.

Place of Origin

London

Date

1997 (made)

Artist/maker

Adnitt, Stephen, born 1949 (Designed)
Murray, Dominic (made)
Sandberg, Mathilde (made)
Willis, Sally (made)
Megastar Productions Ltd

Materials and Techniques

Polyester crêpe, dip-dyed and decorated with plastic, polyurethane foam and PVC simulations of food and cutlery

Object history note

The Breakfast Dress was worn by the performer Barry Humphries appearing as Dame Edna Everage, a comedy character created by him. The costume was made for the production 'Dame Edna's Work Experience' (1996).

Descriptive line

Dame Edna's Breakfast Dress, designed by Stephen Adnitt and worn by Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage in the television programme Dame Edna's Work Experience 1997.

Materials

Thread; Metal; Polyester crêpe; Plastic; Polyurethane; PVC; Dye; Paint; Material

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre costume; Theatre; Television; Cross-dressing; Secrets of the Museum

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.