Camp comedian Julian Cary minces back to Blackpool
You’re back out on the road with your stand-up show Born to Mince. How did it come about?
We did the main tour in 2019. We did 50 dates. And then the management said ‘That went well. There are all these places you haven’t been. How’s about doing some more?’ And I thought, ‘Well, seems rude not to because the show was all ready to go.’ Then it was delayed and delayed. So it’s a bit of a bizarre thing to go back to something. So I’m rejigging it – those bits that don’t work anymore, because of passage of time. And there are bits that do. It will be the same feel, the same name, the same songs.
‘Mince’ has featured in a number of the titles of your shows in the past. Is it a favourite word?
Yes, it’s a good word. It’s a retro word. But I like it. I’m very careful that it is completely trivial, really, what I do, and mincing seems to epitomise that. It’s attitude, isn’t it? I mean, I haven’t really analysed it, but it’s attitude...and what am I trying to say? Like Quentin Crisp was a bit of a warrior in his time mincing around. It was a statement to do that, and even though things are different now, I think it’s just a funny word to use in the title. Let’s leave it at that.
Where are you most looking forward to visiting during the tour?
Well, I really love being in Scotland. So we’re doing Perth and Aberdeen. And because this is the second run of dates, there’s a lot of slightly different places that I’ve never been to. I think I have been to Barnstaple before. Oh and Canterbury – I’m looking forward to going there because I used to live in the area. Then there’s Eastbourne, Worthing…
And six nights at the Bloomsbury in London…
Yes, that will be lovely. It’ll be a pleasant way to finish and it’s quite a nice, intimate theatre. There’s nowhere I’m not looking forward to really. I don’t go to places I don’t like.
The show includes a sequence called ‘heterosexual aversion therapy’, which sounds very intriguing. What’s that about?
Yes, well, the first half is a very kind of chatty...me talking to the audience, insulting them and a few anecdotes. And stand-up. And then I always like to delve into the audience. So for this tour, it is the ‘heterosexual aversion therapy’, and I take four men out of the audience, and wire them up. They have helmets on and there are all these wires coming out and I wire them up to their genitals and their nipples and conduct these heterosexual aversion therapy experiments on them. And much hilarity ensues. I’ve got this big contraption that comes on, so you can see how they are responding.
Do you have a lot of costume changes in the show?
Yes, there are a few costume changes.
There’s plenty of glamour-wear involved. I mean, back in the day, I used to wear Lycra and I had my nipples on display and all of that, but those days are gone because I’m 62 now. So it’s more suits. But it’s not a suit that you would get on the high street. Let’s put it that way.
What about the songs? How much will we hear your vocal chords?
Yes, there’s only a few songs. There’s ‘Keep Young and Beautiful’. There’s also a brilliant song in there that Gary Wilmot wrote for me.
We were sitting in panto a couple of years ago and I said, ‘Do you fancy writing a song for my live show?’ And the next day, he came in with a finished song, based on an excellently rude phrase he heard someone say on the train home that night.
“Then I do my version of ‘All that Jazz.’ With one letter changed in the word ‘jazz’. And then another song called ‘Born to Mince’, inevitably.
Do you worry about offending people?
Yes, I used to be obsessed with shocking people and causing that sort of sharp intake of breath. But that was in the Eighties, when it seemed appropriate to do that and shake things up. It doesn’t work like that now, and it’s more about playing with words and making people laugh. At the panto...I don’t really consider the children. I mean, there are not a lot there, frankly! I believe I said at one point, ‘I don’t know why they let them in!’ And if you deconstruct it, what I’m saying is filth, really.
“I don’t know how I’ve ended up in that particular niche, but I find I have and that’s how my brain just comes up with those things now.