Julian Clary's UK Tour 2019

Born To Mince

Review: Julian Clary at the Brighton Dome

When Clary is working the room, when he is mixing the expected with the spontaneous, he is pure entertainment

Dominic Maxwell - The Times

“Hello,” Julian Clary says to some audience members he spots creeping to their seats 20 minutes late. “You’ve missed half a dozen buggery jokes, that’s all.” Ah, if ever an act knew what he is about and how to play with that idea, it’s Clary.

Wearing a gorgeously glittery black and gold suit, he starts by speak-singing his way through a reworded version of Keep Young and Beautiful that ends by making it hilariously unambiguous exactly what the gay man’s reward will be for doing so. He is, he reminds us twice, “Julian Clary the camp comic and renowned homosexual”.

He turns 60 near the end of this tour, called Born to Mince, and there is a lifetime of craft behind his ability to be so thoroughly insulting and so thoroughly welcoming at the same time. “Is there nothing on ITV3 tonight?” he asks after seeing how many middle-aged straight couples are in the crowd. When Clary is working the room, when he is mixing the expected with the spontaneous, he is pure entertainment.

The problems with his shows often come when he has to move beyond badinage and into something a bit more like “material”. Sure enough, the evening goes flat as he starts telling us some resistible rubbish about going on holiday to a celebrities-only island. He throws in a hint of Harry Hill-ish absurdism with a big prop phone and a pre-recorded jingle, but it’s piecemeal. The musical moments, notwithstanding an expertly sweary song written for him by Gary Wilmot, are middling. His finale, All That Jazz reinvented as All That Jizz, is puzzlingly poor.

Yet when Clary lets more real world into his stories, such as his tale of tedious country conversations with locals near his home in Kent, it perks up. He squeezes in gratuitous sideswipes at celebrities such as John Barrowman and Tess Daly. It suits him. Best of all is a game show inverting gay aversion therapy, in which he brings four men up on stage and proves that one of them can be made gay. It plays to all his strengths, giving him (literal) straight men to play off. And, in passing, it cocks a snook at the idea that sexuality is something you can talk someone into or out of.

Clary is about a bit more than buggery jokes. You won’t catch him saying so, though. That would spoil the fun.

Tour Dates & Venues 

March 2019

Wed 13  Horsham  The Capitol

Thur 14  Hoddesdon  The Spotlight

Fri 15  Kings Lynn  Alive Corn Exchange 

Sun 17  Bromley  Churchill Theatre

Wed 20 Reading Hexagon

Thur 21 Stafford Gatehouse Theatre

Fri 22  Lancaster  The Grand

Sat 23  Glasgow  King's Theatre

Tues 26  Shrewsbury  Theatre Severn

Wed 27  Cardiff  St Davids Hall

Thur 28  Swindon  Wyvern Theatre

Fri 29  Bath  Komedia

Sat 30  Lincoln  LPAC

Sun 31  Chester  Storyhouse

APRIL 2019

Tues 02  Manchester  Opera House

Wed 03  St Albans  The Alban Arena

Thur 04  Cambridge  Corn Exchange

Sat 06  Ipswich  Corn Exchange

Sun 07  Leicester The Curve

Wed 10  Edinburgh  Queen's Hall

Thur 11  Berwick Upon Tweed  The Maltings

Fri 12  Leeds  City Varieties

Sat 13  Leeds  City Varieties

Sun 14  Newcastle  Theatre Royal

Sun 28  Brighton  Dome

May 2019

Sat 04  Northampton  Royal and Derngate

Sun 05  Buxton Opera House  

Wed 08  Shanklin Isle of Wight Shanklin Theatre

Fri 10  Harrogate  Harrogate  Theatre. 

Sat 11  Crewe  Lyceum

Sun 12  Coventry  Warwick Arts Centre

Wed 15  Poole  Lighthouse

Thur 16  Barnstaple  Queens Theatre

Fri 17  Basingstoke The Anvil

Sat 18  Tunbridge Wells  Assembly Hall Theatre

Sun 19  Southampton  Mayflower   

Wed 22  Exeter Corn Exchange

Thur 23  Yeovil  Octagon Theatre

Fri 24  Weston super Mare  Playhouse

Sat 25  Bury St Edmunds  Theatre Royal (on sale october)

Sun 26  High Wycombe Wycombe Swan

Tues 28  Guildford  G Live

Wed 29  Southend  Palace

Thur 30  Cheltenham  Town Hall

Fri 31  Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre

June 2019

Sat 01  Nottingham  Playhouse

Sun 02  Oxford  Oxford Playhouse

Wed 05  Crawley  The Hawth

Thur 06  Norwich  Theatre Royal

Fri 07  Chelmsford  Civic

Sat 08  London  The London Palladium