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Julian Clary mincing his words in Adelaide

Arts

DISCERNING camp comedian Julian Clary is putting the finishing touches on his new show

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The Joy of Mincing ahead of its World Premiere at the Adelaide Fringe this month.

Clary has arrived in South Australia to be the festival’s ambassador, which has become the biggest arts festival in the southern hemisphere.

The 56-year-old Englishman will also lead 80 floats and 1500 artists in the Fringe Parade to officially open the festival on Saturday night.

“I’ve had a rather magnificent costume made and I’ve seen the float that I’ll be balancing on top of so that’s going to be a highlight I’m sure and I’m looking forward to it,” Clary said.

“I’ve been in Adelaide in festival time before and it’s a bit like the Edinburgh Festival, there’s a real buzz about it and lots of interesting people around and things to do and it just fitted in with my life at the moment to come over.

“I’ve also got my new show ready so I can perform that a couple of times and for a change I can be doing it first in Australia – normally I do it in the UK first and then finish off in Australia.”

Clary said the two sold out The Joy of Mincing Adelaide shows on February 17 and 18 would include his “usual nonsense”.

“But I’m sort of investigating the whole business of mincing and what it means –  it’s an old-fashioned word and it can be used in a derogatory sense but I’m turning it around and reframing it for myself,” he said.

“At its best, mincing is a declaration of self in the face of adversity and I’ll be talking about how I saved Joan Collins’ life and I’ll be handing out some MBEs (Mincer of the British Empire) that I have made for the good people of Adelaide.”

Clary has been a regular visitor Down Under since the early 1990s when his high-camp Channel 4 gameshow Sticky Moments with Julian Clary endeared him to Australian television audiences.

He said he had been studying the Adelaide Fringe program but was yet to decide which of the 1100 events featuring more than 5000 artists he would attend.

“The person I really wanted to see, Judith Lucy, I’ll be gone by the time she’s on so that’s a shame but I want to see some burlesque and just pick some things at random from the program and just see if my instincts are right and see if I enjoy it.

“I don’t really like going to see other comics particularly – there’s some funny looking drag acts on and their names amused me but apart from that I’ll just see what’s on when I’ve got the time.”

Clary will perform The Joy of Mincing at the Glasgow Comedy Festival on March 25 before touring the show throughout the United Kingdom in April and May.

He will also release his second children’s book next month The Bolds to the Rescue and return home to Kent later in the year to film a documentary on late English playwright Noel Coward.

Coward once lived in the 15th Century manor house Clary now calls home, which is reputed to be haunted.

“If you use your imagination you can find all sorts of goings on in that house, there are things that go bump in the night,” Clary said. 

“I had someone come round with divining sticks who was an expert in such matters and she located four different ghosts in various parts of the house, one of whom was Noel Coward.”

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