Julian Clary

JOHN LAWSON Julian Clary is essentially a one-joke comedian. Revelling in his campness, he has become an iconic figure for the gay community – and a national treasure to straight people of all ages.

JOHN LAWSON

Julian Clary is essentially a one-joke comedian.

Revelling in his campness, he has become an iconic figure for the gay community – and a national treasure to straight people of all ages.

And despite lines which could be considered deeply offensive, he presents them in such a winning way that even your maiden aunt could rarely take offence.

Yes, you know what you are going to get with our Jules – but can that sustain the interest through a two-hour stage show? The answer to my mind is no.

It was certainly not all bad – Clary's entrance on a giant motorised stiletto rivalled Kylie's performance at the Sydney Olympics. And there were some great lines amidst the endless gay puns, like the idea that botox treatment on Clary's knees had rendered them incapable of showing surprise.

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But there is far too much filler in his Natural Born Mincer tour to keep the laughter fuelled and the regular use of song medleys, while something of a Clary trademark, is no substitute for quality material. Musicians Gail McKinnon and Sarah Travis work hard in the background but you feel that even they know they are papering over the cracks. And quite why Clary has remained so loyal to his long-term stooge Hugh Jolly is anyone's guess. I guess he is supposed to be post-ironic – but I prefer to think of him as a second division club act.

t Julian Clary was performing at Norwich Theatre Royal.