Age cannot wither this old possum in an evening of razor sharp wit plus some classical music on the side.

Sydney Opera House, June 22

Like that other comedic musical icon, Anna Russell, Dame Edna Everage threatens to make more post-retirement comebacks than the proverbial boomerang. Our gain, I dare say. The unofficial Dowager Duchess of Down-Under was back at the Sydney Opera House last night, a building whose architect, we were informed, was inspired by her serviettes that he sketched over an informal luncheon somewhere back in the 1960s.

Faint hearts might have hesitated to bring the family to what was billed as an “adults only” event and with an awful lot of musical animals on the menu Cory Bernardi at least might have been advised to stay away. As it turned out, the Dame was in razor sharp form but, in an evening of brilliant off-the-cuff comedy, most of her targets turned out to be cultural or political.

Benjamin Northey got us off to an unfettered start with an admirably lucid account of Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Northey cuts a charismatic figure on the podium and proved adept at bringing out every colour in a score that, if it weren’t...