Comedy Review : Julian Clary

Words: Andrew McCartney
Photos: Andrew McCartney
Sunday 28 April 2024
reading time: min, words

Julian Clary, renowned homosexual and national trinket, slips into some chaps at the Nottingham Playhouse...

Julianc 1

During the interval, two chaps were overheard speaking about the first half. ‘Are you enjoying it?’ ‘Yeah, he’s brilliant’ responded his friend. Whilst standing in the queue for the gents, (which was considerably longer than the ladies), I pondered on that conversation. It seemed that the second guy would have been nervous about attending a Julian Clary production. And rightly so. Nobody was safe. Using a general theme of 'the wild west', throughout the show, Julian blended his enigmatic stage presence with a sensitivity towards and connectivity with the audience.

A full house at The Nottingham Playhouse were treated to a journey of innuendo, subtle nuance and for the non-puritans downright crudity. There were some tremendous reworkings of classic songs, which while maintaining the expected musical elements included lyrics that were hilarious. A couple of original songs were added into the mix and in particular the finale provided a thought provoking 'climax'. Bertha, Julian's assistant, provided fantastic 'straight' support throughout. Working as a team, they made even the glitches in production seem just as 'real'. 

so much can be achieved with so little

Use of a simple set and a limited range of props, particularly during the second half, showed that so much can be achieved with so little. Julian's garments were outlandish and totally (in)appropriate. Those that were fortunate, (or unfortunate), to take part in the second half 'farcical play' were so game and well appreciated by the audience. A touching element was added when Julian paid tribute to his dear friend Paul O'Grady (Lillian Savage). 

It should also be noted that The Nottingham Playhouse staff were once again first class. Julian's ability to work seamlessly between prepared material and 'in the moment reactions' surely marks him out as one of the best entertainers of our times. His tour continues throughout the UK, concluding in Brighton on June 14th . This show is not for the fainthearted. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Julian Clary's A Fistful of Clary played at the Nottingham Playhouse on Saturday 27th April 2024.

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