Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Whatever happened to the barbed wit, Julian?

There are two sides to Julian Clary. The first is camper than a Christmas fairy, wearing more glitter and costumes than are enough to make Jordan blush.

This one made his name with bad taste game shows and ‘that’ comment about Norman Lamont at the British Comedy Awards in 1993.

The second Julian Clary is a bit of a renaissance man. Writer, actor, and even a presenter on Radio Four.

In fact it's not that often that he's seen doing stand-up, so at the Ulster Hall the audience wasn't entirely sure which Julian was going to show up.

Julian Clary is never going to play it straight though so it was somewhere in between the two.

Resplendent in an orange satin suit with gold sequins, Clary arrived on stage in rollerblades.

He proceeded to regale us with gossip from the Strictly Come Dancing Tour he had recently been on and his gentle life in the country.

The evening had the feel of an audience with Julian Clary rather than a straight stand up show.

Every story was punctuated with a theme tune and prop. While amusing, it was more gently so rather than laugh-out-loud. His strengths showed when he left the script to berate a misbehaving member of the audience. It’s just a pity he didn’t do it more often.

The absence of sparkly lycra was certainly a blessing, but I was expecting a little bit more. Clary is usually known for his razor-sharp wit, but there wasn’t much evidence of it last night.

Kerry McKittrick

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