A NEW play inspired by memories of an actor’s dresser will come to Malvern next week with a well-known name in the leading role.

Ronald Harwood’s play The Dresser pulls on the background of Donald Wolfit’s dresser as a young man and stars Julian Clary, one of the UK’s most unique and best loved entertainers.

The 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 ageing 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.

Julian Clary will play Norman.

His previous successes include 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.

Terry Johnson is the recipient of a dozen major theatre awards. His directing credits include Mrs. Henderson Presents, Hysteria and The Libertine.

The show comes to Malvern Theatres from Tuesday, January 18 to Saturday, January 22 and will run for approximately two hours and twenty-five minutes.