Pavilion, Glasgow (Sun 22 Jul); Barrfields Pavilion (Sun 19 Aug), Largs; Edinburgh Festival Theatre (Sun 30 Sep).

Fifty-one years in the business and still going strong is the world’s most glamorous female impersonator, Danny La Rue. Most recently he’s scored great personal success with his confessional show at London's Pleasance Theatre.

Entitled An Audience With . . ., La Rue did the first half in Marlene Dietrich mode, before doing the second half as himself dressed in simple black attire. Atop a stool with a glass of champagne in hand, he answered with complete candour, questions from the audience. Topics ranged from his long-term male partner, to the many celebrities he has worked with, to how AIDS has devastated a generation. He ended it all in understated form belting out the gay anthem, ‘l Am What I Am’.

Now he is returning to where he belongs: headlining variety at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens for a twenty-week summer season in Palladium Nights. It’s touring on selected Sunday nights in Glasgow, Largs and Edinburgh. Recreating the legendary variety shows of the London Palladium, Danny guarantees ‘glamour, laughs, no filth and good comedy‘. Sharing the bill is Gary Lovini on violin, comic Stu Francis, international illusionists Safire and singer Beryl Johnson.

Of course there’s Danny himself/herself with ten Tiller girls in support. He will be performing 3 ‘Send In The Clowns' routine as a gorgeous female Corolla clown bedecked in a costume of 500,000 sequins. ln homage to his friend, Marilyn Monroe, he’ll expound a shared philosophy when singing ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’. He’s very excited about trying out Norma Desmond’s beaded hood in ‘Sunset Boulevard’. And like Streisand before him, he’ll perform ‘With One Look’.

Irish-born La Rue is a British institution and has brought a respectability and a Barbra Cartland dress- sense to the art of cross-dressing. Appropriate since his most loyal audience consists of middle-aged women. He counts many illustrious stars as his friends, and has

At l i ( )lilt it it {N )i n ANTONY SHER Beside Myself (Hutchinson £17.99)

Autol)iographies are tricky. Do the subjects have a perspective on their lives? While still alive can they reveal the pains and intimacies ‘.“./|lll()tll holding back?

Antony Sher disliked Simon Callov-x for many years. That’s interesting because there are real similarities between the two men: not only in their African backgrounds. their gayness. their florid acting styles. but in their attempts to be Renaissance men of the 1 st century Is he a ‘.‘.ll'll(}l. actor. director or a combination?

There's a sense that Sher now the author of tour novels. two theatrical Journals and a book of illustrations ~ fell into ‘.'."l'll|ll§} by accident. It's SOUTCIltiltt} he does belu'xeen acting gigs and is not quite his rea! job. The ‘.‘.'l'|lll‘.(J in itsen' is not poor. leSI sometimes a little ordinan. mth onli. a ten-x moments of real insight.

He grev‘.’ up in 50s white South Africa with a real sense of being a priuieged outsider. Sn‘all. x'reedy. bespectacled and secretlg. homosexual. Sher fared miserabl; on the playing fields and militan. camp. London and the wodd of theatre was his escape.

His first feelings of love Surfaced at

Sher: a little ordinary

been lucky enough to have Judy Garland sing to him while accompanied by Noel Coward at the piano.

He’s the only man in history to have starred in the musical, Hello Dolly, and he also performed as ZaZa five times in Jerry Herman’s La Cage Aux Fol/es.

‘l’ve had a blessed life,’ he says. ‘Being allowed to perform is like manna from heaven.’ Incredibly active, he walks the dog to clear his head every morning and to prepare himself for the arduous day of rehearsals ahead. There’s no lip-synching involved here, just that showbiz trouper stuff of legend. When that is combined with maturity and total command of audience, it’s a sight to behold. He loves performing in Scotland and is an admirer of Jack Milroy, Jimmy Logan and, of course, Stanley Baxter. (John Binnie)

LESBIAN SUPPORT LlPs. Glasgow Women‘s Library. Sat 20 & Thu 26 Jul.

No lip-synching, just that showbiz trouper stuff of legend i i

the age of tour in kindergarten for a soft. vulnerable boy. ‘.‘/l‘.()llT Sher believed was more beautiful than his dark. un|o\.’e|\,« sell. He's had two long- term partners. both men iii the theatre. His first. from 1976 onxxards. '.'.i'as an open relationship of man, [mars standing. His current l'tllélllOllfSl‘ill; is ‘.'./lll| his theatrical collaborator dire/fie".

Get Lippy at Galsgow Women's Library

producmg its ()‘.'.’lt d,i‘.aii‘.:r;s In the ll". ',i..i',:.‘.i, 'i i. ' Wflfllk’l. x'rorkblace and the befi‘rcoii‘. as .'.i’,ir ‘:l‘ tram. .‘i'( 'r :is W Sher's performances earl. ()lT .zeie a: aiiex: as t ’li‘ll, it’ll (weer ’/,r about eiaborate disguise. character air: Ans'iire. l’ar’t tr e tics and copious research. It's the least attractor“ epe' interesting part of the book {ili’l ,cti ’Y“:.'l l":l“," i, pone. a: .'.eli :i', don't really get a sense of the create the .'.'5l"'l .ever'r, we ,r, .{ process. The chapters dealing .-.ith his grin-ii .n,.ti' r); ' ‘~.'ulnerab|e. ailing father. sarl’ie'ii. ’Ilztil‘i’ul ii Task " 42". ate/i finding the .vori'l iii‘pcssr :le .'.*’," »" nauigate. has real poxgei as noes i" e T l'._l": r.‘ " e ' Sher's own lo.e 'iate re'aticns'irii sec-we ‘1' T1. 1/ ' :i w ‘/ t'ir his homeland front eXile. supp," e‘ C" ' v r" i ,i i \".’e need fetal. cooks about ’1 we in he": ' 52' “Emit, negotiating da'. te- tra, l..1."-§}Et"/} er." ’1' ’l ' ' ‘H ,i, ti a' 'i relatio iships with .‘arrwé', heii‘e ar I: new .a e' at ages partners. Althcugi‘ She/s We 'i‘i' fine t; it at present ordinary there are facets c" ga. an. '. harm. be par‘ of the experience that can an mate 'ie/mpirerit air/l Wire 9‘ the Beside iii/self ii‘ight haze Lee". Letter LlPs groan) .'.’l:";l‘i CW: ',T”,l‘.f}ll,’ it Sher was a bit more extraer’iii‘ai‘,. Le' to Le ‘a Hit; erarigr'xg 'John Binnie, prov/3'. Ja'e H::""t".i‘i

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