Inspired by memories of working as Donald Wolfit's dresser as young man, Ronald Harwood's evocative, affectionate and hilarious portrait of backstage life is one of the most acclaimed dramas of modern theatre.
It is 1942 and in a war-torn provincial theatre an aging actor manager, known to his loyal acting company as 'Sir', is struggling to cling on to his sanity and complete his two hundred and twenty seventh performance of King Lear.
It is down to Norman, Sir's devoted dresser, to ensure that in spite of everything, the show goes on. For sixteen years Norman 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.
Norman will be played by one of the UK's most unique and best loved entertainers. Julian Clary's successes encompass television, radio, films, writing and stand up comedy, which he has performed all over the world. His West End starring roles range from London Palladium pantomimes to Taboo.
Playing 'Sir' will be Matthew Kelly, winner of an Olivier Award for Of Mice and Men. His other West End credits include Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen, Comedians and Troilus and Cressida. His many television credits include the award-winning thriller Cold Blood, Benidorm, Bleak House and Moving On.
Ronald Harwood's plays include Taking Sides, Equally Divided and Quartet. His screenplay for the film of The Dresser received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Screenplay. He won an Academy Award for The Pianist.
One of the most distinctive comics in the early days of alternative comedy, then an 'overnight success' through his iconoclastic Channel 4 game show Sticky Moments, Julian Clary has spent 30 years in show business dividing his time between radio and television, films and stage as an actor, entertainer, presenter and writer. Although he claims nowadays to enjoy the life of a country gentleman in his 16th century farmhouse, he can't resist the lure of live performance. Of course, expects a warm hand on his arrival... Ooh, naughty! 'Lots of camp smut and double entendres... doesn't disappoint... he was side-splittingly hilarious' (Daily Mirror) 'His persona of camp superciliousness is effortlessly amusing... Clary's genius is to find sexual suggestion where the rest of us wouldn't think of looking' (The Guardian) 'The audience – gay, straight, young, old – loved Clary and it was easy to see why' (Evening Standard).
See 39 tour dates featuring Julian Clary
Professional actor with 14 years' stage and television acting experience before he became a TV presenter. Matthew is best known for his anchoring of the TV series Stars In Their Eyes.
See 2 tour dates featuring Matthew Kelly
Bath Theatre Royal & Ustinov Studio
- St. Johns Place
- BA1 1ET