dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Julian Dutton: ‘There’s no substitute for working and gaining experience’

Julian Dutton has starred in a host of BBC Radio 4 comedy shows and begun doing European tours for the British Council. Photo: Robert Nesbitt Julian Dutton has starred in a host of BBC Radio 4 comedy shows and begun doing European tours for the British Council. Photo: Robert Nesbitt

Julian Dutton opens in Do You Think That’s Wise? – the Life and Times of John Le Mesurier at the Bath Comedy Festival from March 30-31, then touring, including a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.


My first job was an international stage tour of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Taming of the Shrew – in France, the Netherlands and Germany. It was run by the British Council – the aim of the company was to take “classics of the British stage” to Europe. I don’t think I had an agent so when I saw the ad in The Stage I applied for an audition directly to the producer.

I auditioned somewhere in Kentish Town – I think it was in the old church that used to be the Drama Centre. It was all great fun. I never used to get nervous and I still don’t. It was a four-month tour playing wonderful theatres across Europe and we were playing in repertory so it offered good experience of switching
roles night by night. I was bowled over by the reception from audiences and by the quality of the theatres – even the smallest towns in the remotest places seemed to have fabulous theatres.

I made loads of friends and I think the key to success when starting out is making contacts and friends. I also learned a key skill when performing comedy – and that’s to learn how to ride a laugh and sharpen timing in order to achieve that laugh. Those skills apply whether you are performing stand-up comedy or a comedy play.

I would advise a beginner to do anything and everything in order to gain experience – even generate your own work, stage your own play, put on your own show. There’s no substitute for working and gaining experience.


CV: Julian Dutton

Age: 53
Training: RADA summer school
Theatre includes: Absent Friends (national tour), The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (West Queen’s Theatre), The Candidate (New End Theatre Hampstead), European tours of Taming of the Shrew, The Importance of Being Earnest
TV includes: Pompidou, The Big Impression, Time Gentlemen Please, Ronni Ancona and Co, Friday Night Armistice, Scoop
Other credits: Own comedy shows on BBC Radio 4 including Truly, Madly, Bletchley, The Harpoon and Polyoaks. National comedy tours supporting Harry Hill, Al Murray and Jenny Eclair
Agent: RBM Comedy


Julian Dutton was talking to John Byrne

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

loading...
^