Two years after his mammoth 140-date Lord of the Mince tour, Julian Clary is back and this time he’s not so much on a tour, as he is on a mission. The Position Vacant – Apply Within tour will see Julian travelling the length and breadth of the country searching high and low for the man of his dreams.
So this time you’re on something of a quest then Julian?
Well, yes, that’s the premise of it. I have always enjoyed messing around with the audience, I find it much more enjoyable and spontaneous than anything scripted, and I’m really going to go for it this time and just fill the stage with punters, because the idea is that I am looking for a husband.
I’ll get probably about eight men on stage with me and there will be various rounds in the style of Sticky Moments that I used to do on television, some years ago, and then finally I will end up with the one man, my husband, and I’ll “marry” him on stage at the end of the show.
I’ve never tried to do something like this with so many people, and we’ll see in the warm up shows if that is the right number, but I have always liked the idea of trying to keep lots of “plates spinning” at the same time.
So will it be a different show every night then?
Oh yes, a different show every single night, so, even though the tour is well over two months long, it will be fresh every day. I’ll never get tired or bored and I’m really looking forward to it – I’m really quite excited.
I was going to ask you about getting bored because, although I hate to bring it up, it is about 30 years since you started now.
I know, it’s funny isn’t it that I’ve managed to spin it out this long, but I don’t get bored with my own thing. Right from the very beginning I found that, because I create it all, it’s just an extension of my personality really. I suppose that the spontaneity helps stop any boredom too.
That’s why I really have always wanted to do something like this. It’s like when I’m going down into someone’s handbag and seeing what’s there, it’s all done as an improvisational device to find some comedy – well, hopefully.
And, along your career path, you have diversified somewhat as well.
Yes, I think if one was to analyse how and why I have managed to keep going for so long it’s because of diversifying. I’ve turned my hand to book writing and my fourth novel, Briefs Encountered, is out now and the punters really seem to like it. I have also popped up doing some TV and radio presenting as well, like Have I Got News for You and Just a Minute.
And also you seem to be an accomplished gardener too.
Yes, this is something of a new development for me. I moved out into the country about six years ago and the one thing that my father succeeding in interesting me in as a child was gardening, he tried with cars and decorating and sport and things but none of that worked, but he did teach me about gardening and now, in my “dotage”, I find that I know what I’m doing and I get a great deal of pleasure out of it and, through the wonders of Twitter, I can share that.
It’s a noted fact, I think, that people tend to get happier as they get older and that is certainly true for me. I spent a lot of my youth worrying and being anxious about things are, really, there is no need for it. You learn and get wise as you get older.
I notice that the tour runs from mid-September to the end of November. Does that mean you’ll be heading back into “Pantoland” again this year?
It does yes. I’ll be starring as the Spirit of the Beans in Jack and The Beanstalk at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton with West-End star Lee Mead, the very lovely Nigel Havers, Paul Zerdin the ventriloquist and his little friend Sam and Jeffrey Holland who was in Hi-De-Hi.
Julian Clary can be seen in the national tour of Position Vacant, Apply Within from 26 September – 23 November (with a pre-tour warm-up which starts on 14 September in The Old Market, Brighton). Other local dates include Corn Exchange, Kings Lynn (4 Oct), Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells (6 Oct), Theatre Royal, Norwich (7 Oct), Pavilion Theatre, Worthing (10 Nov) and The Congress Theatre, Eastbourne (21 Nov).
Following the tour Julian can be seen in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton from 22 Dec 2012 – 19 Jan 2013.