I’ve seen Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly perform on stage, separately, quite a few times. But to see them both perform together? Well that really is going to be something quite special.
From Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 February, the duo will star in The Dresser at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford. Julian Clary will star as Norman while Olivier Award winner Matthew Kelly will star as ‘Sir’. Though they’re joined by a talented cast, I suspect Clary and Kelly will be the stars of the show – it’s a great play with real opportunity for the two entertainers to shine.
Ronald Harwood’s highly acclaimed drama The Dresser is inspired by memories of his own experiences as a dresser to Donald Wolfit. The Dresser is described as an evocative, affectionate and hilarious portrait of backstage life – and I can’t think of two men best placed to bring it to life.
Set in 1942, the play follows aging actor-manager ‘Sir’ as he struggles to cling on to his sanity and complete his 227th performance of King Lear. For 16 years Norman, Sir’s devoted dresser, has been there to fix Sir’s wig, massage his ego, remind him of his opening lines and provide the sound effects in the storm scene. It is down to Norman to ensure that in spite of everything, the show goes on.
Many might have seen the Oscar-nominated 1983 film version of The Dresser, starring Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. It was even filmed in several locations around Yorkshire – including at the Alhambra Theatre! This surely makes seeing the stage show at this beautiful location even more magnificent.
And now a little bit more about our leading men. Julian Clary is renowned for his many successes across TV, radio, film and stand-up comedy. He’s toured the UK and starred in the West End, notably as Emcee in Cabaret and for his starring roles in the London Palladium Christmas panto. I absolutely adored his one-man comedy show Born To Mince – he’s an absolute joy to watch on stage.
Matthew Kelly is well known for presenting Stars in their Eyes and You Bet! on the telly, but he’s also a serious stage star. He’s performed in countless West End shows and UK tours – I most recently saw him perform in The Habit of Art at York Theatre Royal.
These two theatre heavyweights are sure to seriously display their theatrical prowess on stage – don’t miss it. Book your tickets to see The Dresser now!