An expert dual biography

The Two Frank Thrings

by Peter Fitzpatrick

Monash University Publishing, $49.95 hb, 573 pp, 9781921867248

How lucky we were! My ‘baby boomer’ generation in Melbourne grew up on stories of the second Frank Thring (1926–94), which competed in outrageousness with the anecdotes we heard of Barry Humphries; and throughout the 1960s we had the opportunity – more so in the case of Thring, who had now settled back in Melbourne as a regular performer on stage and television, as Humphries began his lifelong commute to London – to catch both of these not-so-sacred monsters in the flesh and on their own home turf. (As I asked of the females of this species in a previous article in ABR – ‘Mordant Mots’, September 2007 – what is it about Melbourne that has produced such bizarre and brilliant creatures?)

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Published in October 2012, no. 345

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