CELEBRATING 30 years in comedy, Julian Clary has settled into a cosy, anecdotal manner that’s as laden with filth and innuendo as ever, but never close to shocking.
Julian Clary: The Joy of Mincing | Rating: *** | EICC, Edinburgh
Even his misadventures with crystal meth or a mention of his greatest moment of notoriety, when he supposedly enjoyed vigorous relations with former chancellor Norman Lamont, are warmly received by an affectionate audience.
At 56, his career path from insalubrious dive venues to secure celebrity and children’s book authorship no less, is testified to by one of his starrier friendships. Having initially performed as The Joan Collins Fan Club, the cease and desist letters from her lawyers have, over time, been replaced by a close bond, to the extent of him saving her from drowning. Related with endless gossipy tangents and no opportunity for a buggery pun uninserted, tales such as this and his appearance at the Royal Variety Performance tend to lack a satisfying denouement, despite his most creative embellishments.
But Clary has developed into a lovable figure and two hours in his company breezily flies by. There’s some nonsense about him proudly owning the word “mincing” and a couple of songs with the lyrics creakily re-worded for his autobiography. But the camp shamelessness is light and fun rather than suffocatingly cynical. Amusingly too, a bit of enforced audience participation, in which punters are brought up to wear Clary’s most outrageous costumes from the past, plucked Edinburgh Rugby’s Grant Gilchrist - with the 6ft8 lock bursting a skin-tight pink rubber number previously worn at Sydney’s 1994 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Seen on 13.05.16