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Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly in tour of The Dresser

Theatre Royal Bath Productions and Everyman Theatre Cheltenham confirm new tour dates for Ronald Harwood’s highly acclaimed drama The Dresser starring the much-loved UK entertainer Julian Clary as Norman and Olivier Award winner Matthew Kelly as ‘Sir’.

Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly in tour of The DresserDirected by Olivier Award-winning Terry Johnson, The Dresser will run at Theatre Royal Bath from 9 September 2021, before dates at Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, Theatre Royal Brighton, Norwich Theatre Royal, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Richmond Theatre and Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, with further tour dates to be announced.

Inspired by memories of working as Donald Wolfit’s dresser as a young man, Ronald Harwood’s evocative, affectionate and hilarious portrait of backstage life is regarded as 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 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.

Julian Clary has performed across the world and is renowned for his many successes across television, radio, film, writing and stand-up comedy. His roles on stage include Leigh Bowery in Boy George’s Taboo (West End and national tour), the Emcee in Rufus Norris’s Olivier Award-winning production of Cabaret (West End), and Le Grand Mort (Trafalgar Studios). Julian also regularly performs in panto and will return to the London Palladium this Christmas. His many TV credits include Trick or Treat, Saturday Night Live, Sticky Moments, Terry and Julian, All Rise, Strictly Come Dancing, Have I Got News For You and QI. He toured the UK earlier this year with his latest one-man comedy show Born To Mince.

Matthew Kelly is an Olivier Award-winning actor who is currently starring in Big The Musical in the West End. He is also well known for presenting the television series Stars in their Eyes and You Bet!. Matthew Kelly’s other West End credits include Waiting For Godot with Ian McKellen and Roger Rees, Funny Peculiar, Sign of the Times, Lend Me A Tenor!, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and as Lennie in Of Mice and Men (Savoy) for which he received the Olivier Award for Best Actor. Other recent theatre credits include Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, Pride & Prejudice (Regents Park & UK Tour), and Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare’s Globe). His many television credits include the award-winning Cold Blood, Benidorm, Bleak House and Moving On.

Joining Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly in the cast are: Emma Amos as Her Ladyship, Rebecca Charles as Madge, Natalie Servat as Irene, Pip Donaghy as Geoffrey Thornton, Samuel Holmes as Mr Oxenby, Robert Shaw Cameron as Kent, Peter Yapp as Gloucester, Stephen Cavanagh as Albany, with Claire Jeater and Michaela Bennison in the ensemble.

Ronald Harwood is an Academy Award, Palme d’Or and BAFTA-winning screenwriter and playwright. His plays include Taking Sides, Equally Divided and Quartet. His screenplay for the film of The Dresser received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Screenplay. His films include the Academy Award-winning The Pianist, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Love in the Time of Cholera.

Terry Johnson is a dramatist and director who has won numerous theatre awards including two Olivier Awards as a playwright for Best Comedy and a Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for La Cage Aux Folles. Other West End credits include The Libertine, End of the Rainbow, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Duck House, Whipping It Up and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He recently directed Uncle Vanya at the Hampstead Theatre and has previously directed Mrs. Henderson Presents, Hysteria and The Libertine at Bath.

Theatre Royal Bath Productions and Everyman Theatre Cheltenham present
Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly in

By Ronald Harwood
Directed by Terry Johnson
Designed by Tim Shortall

9 September to 18 September 2021
PRESS NIGHT 15 September
Theatre Royal Bath
Box Office: 01225 448815

21 September to 25 September 2021
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre
Box office: 01242 572573

28 September to 2 October 2021
Theatre Royal Brighton
Box office: 0844 871 7615

5 October to 9 October 2021
Norwich Theatre Royal
Box office: 01603 630 000

12 October to 16 October 2021
Cambridge Arts Theatre
Box office: 01223 503 333

19 October to 23 October 2021
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Box office: 01752 267 222

26 October to 30 October 2021
Richmond Theatre
Box office: 0844 871 7615

1 February to 5 February 2022
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Box office: 01227 787 787

8 February to 12 February 2022
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Box Office 01274 432000

15 February – 19 February 2022
King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Box Office 0131 529 6000


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