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IT IS his lot in life, Rufus Wainwright says, with a half sigh, that people take it for granted that he’s a megalomaniac. He’s talking about recent announcements of a musical project based on his life and the widespread assumption that this was something he dreamed up.

Yet, he says on the phone from the US, ”It didn’t come from my camp. I’m very excited about it, I’ve sanctioned it, I really want it to happen. Somebody wants to make a movie based on my songs, and they thought, ‘Why don’t we have a character who is somewhat Rufus-like?’ But it’s not biographical. And it wasn’t my idea.”

Wainwright is on his way to Australia next month, with a new show that will have a different feeling from those of his previous visit. At that stage, two years ago, he had a new album, All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, with a sombre edge; the recent death of his mother, Kate McGarrigle, had left him raw and exposed. He performed solo and for the first half of the show, he asked that audience members refrained from applauding between songs.

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