- Allan Radcliffe
- 24 August 2009
This article is from 2009.
Former Joan Collins Fan Club becomes national treasure
‘Are there any heterosexuals in here?’ asks a nervous-looking Julian Clary, ‘because if this is an exclusively gay and lesbian audience I’ll do a completely different show.’ It’s an odd question to be asking of the packed crowd in the cavernous Purple Cow, which appears to be made up of older people and heterosexual couples and groups, who cheer and applaud wildly when the veteran comedian mentions his recent appearance on Strictly Come Dancing. Could it be that the one-time Joan Collins Fan Club, who once made eyes water with his outrageous innuendo and suffered serious career derailment after cracking a joke about fisting the then Chancellor of the Exchequer is now – whisper it – a national treasure?
In fact Clary’s show is pretty much what you would expect: the performer sparkles from hat to shoes, there’s a heavy reliance on the double entendre and numerous catty jokes at the expense of the clothes, hair and accessories of the people in the front row. The hour is padded out with a bizarre ‘psychic test’ involving two members of the audience. All the innuendo about rimming, fisting, crevices, alcoves and going down provokes a nostalgic thrill, but the thing that stays with you long after this show has finished is the warmth emanating from the audience and the bizarre sight of middle-aged men and women shrieking with laughter at the use of the c-word.
Udderbelly’s Pasture, 08445 458 252, until 30 Aug, 8.35pm, £14–£15 (£12–£13).