Antje (dieastra) wrote,

Part 2 of Detailed report of pantomime "Cinderella" with John Barrowman and the Krankies in Glasgow

Finally here is the second part of the panto report. Sorry it took so long. Both I and the beta were busy with other deadlines and stuff, but better late than never right?

Link to part 1

Part 2:

Everyone back in their seat? Can we continue with part 2?

The curtain opened and we were in the huge ball room of Prince Charming. He and Dandini sang the song Best song ever by One Direction as a duet, with the dancers dancing in the background. Me being stupid as usual thought the title was “Best song of Earth”. Well, it made sense. I have never ever heard the word “ever” be pronounced with emphasis on the last syllable. I’m used to the way it is in the song “Well, did you evah”. And these are enough evers for now.

The prince also complained that some idiot turned up and ruined the scene when he was trying to declare his love to Cinderella. Wonder who that could have been…? ;)

Then Dandini announced more guests, which was Baron Hardup, and the ladies Sadie and Senga. Who had the famous line of “The Prince’s balls get bigger every year.” Yeah. I’m just letting it stand there ;)

Quickly it was established who the prince really was and who the servant was, and then some light entertainment was announced. I should probably mention that the two ladies were dressed as – chandeliers? I was somehow reminded of the servants in “Beauty and the Beast”.

But before that, the last guest and the one the prince was waiting for, came down the stairs: Princess Starlight, also known as Cinderella. She even had her own theme song to go with the entrance. Wow!

Then the prince and Cinderella danced the first dance of the evening, a waltz version of “A moment like this”. Those who already have seen John in his Robinson Crusoe panto will know that he sang it there.

Everyone elegantly waltzed out of the room, leaving the stage empty. That’s when Button and Zip were able to sneak down the stairs. Sometimes Janette walked on her own legs or had her hands on John’s bum, other times John just carried her (and using the opportunity to touch her in inappropriate places although it did not look like she minded at all). John was still in his red coachman uniform.

Link: Picture of Buttons and Zip

They talked about going undercover (those who have seen “Jack and the Beanstalk” knew what to expect, the others were in for a funny surprise) and Janette deadpanned: “Last time I went under the covers with you I lost my trumpet!” LOL

But no, Buttons meant undercover like James Bond. Zip was now doing a Sean Connery impression. See, I only have seen his movies with German dubbing, so I had no idea he’s apparently lisping? I’m not even sure how to spell this, but I’m trying: “The name’sh Bond. Shames Bond. And you are a shite.”

Buttons understandably looked very shocked at that last statement. “What?!????”

“… a shite for shore eyesh.” LOOOOOOOOOOL (sight for sore eyes)

With that, John shoved Zip out of the side door, and the rest of the party came back in.

The „light entertainment“ that had been announced earlier turned out to be quite heavy entertainment ;) Sadie and Senga entered the stage dressed in skinny pants and with a huge upper chest. And I mean huge. With big boobs. They started singing and dancing to the song I’m all about that bass by Meghan Trainor. I have to quote the text to give you the right image:

Yeah it's pretty clear
I ain't no size two
But I can shake it, shake it,
like I'm supposed to do
'Cause I got that boom boom that all them boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places

Yeah, my momma she told me don't worry about your size
She says, 'boys like a little more booty to hold at night'
You know I won't be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll,
So, if that's what's you're into
Then go ahead and move along

Because you know I'm all about that bass,
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass

Suddenly, another figure dressed like this appeared upstairs. Sadie and Senga were in red, but this new woman was in silver and sparkling all over. And John Barrowman knows how to dance around in high heels! So of course he couldn’t let this opportunity slip by to show off his really shapely legs and to join in the craziness. Since they could not apply eye-shadow on him in that short time he had to get dressed, he wore something like a painted mask around his eyes, but I only saw it because I was sitting in second row. From further away it looked quite convincing.

(Special request from beta Audrey, who would like to mention that John is not the only one who can pull off the nice legs and dancing on heels. Kudos to Wayne and his graceful and amazing dance moves!)

John wore tights and a very short skirt, and at the last matinee the tights even had suspender/garter belts on top of them. In black.

The arms on these upper bodies were as fake as the breasts and the actors had their hands inside the boobs. Because at the last verse suddenly the boobs started opening their mouths and sing along in squeaky voices ;) It was a sight we might never forget. You had to be there.

After a huge applause Sadie and Senga left and John (we never got the name of the mysterious woman) was staying to flirt a bit with Dandini. Who at one time said “I’m always scared of that bit”. John was making eyes and kissy mouths on him and at the last show even kissed him – on the cheek.

All the following dialogue was done in a high voice from John of course. At the last show on Sunday evening he flirted so much and seemed to wait for Dandini to say something, but the guy indicated in return that he was still waiting for a line from John. It went downhill from there, but nobody minded, because the audience was in stitches anyway.

What was supposed to happen, that John talked about having had a surgery and Ian said that he could never afford one, because he was “bust”. And we also got the names of the two boob thingies, one was called Pinky and the other Perky. They said that in a squeaky sound when John opened their mouths on time, but because of all the joking around the sound manager didn’t know when to press the button, so John opened and closed their mouth a few times without anything coming out and he had to try again, which made him only more giggling. There were also jokes about “bosom buddies” and “breast friends”.

The rest of the dialogue was cut short at the last evening, because suddenly John ran off to the side of the stage, screaming “My skirt is falling off” and indeed, the shiny glittery sparkly silver skirt was sliding down all the way to the ground. In previous shows, either Dandini or the Baron had helped by pulling the zipper back up (did I mention that there was really very little time for John to change from the coach man uniform into this dress? Amazing) but apparently it being the last evening and all, all bets were off.

At the side, John waved his now almost bare backside around so everyone got a good view onto his bum in briefs, and yelled back to Dandini “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do – well, that does not leave much!” and then he finally left and made the stage free for Janette who came out dressed as Miley Cyrus and sang “Wrecking ball” Although her version was more like “Coz I’m gonna wreck the baaaaaaaaall!!!!” Including sitting and swinging around on said wrecking ball. With the dancers who were standing in a line behind her, having to move back so they were not hit. She’s quite sexy at her age! And so tiny. I love her.

After all this fun and circumstances we got a romantic love song, with the prince and Cinderella singing A moment like this . But at the end of the song, the clock started to strike 12 times, and the voice of the fairy was heard again, reminding Cinderella that she had to leave at midnight. The first time I missed it, but the other times I paid attention to the huge clock at the background, and the handle did indeed move when it was time.

Dandini found the glass slipper Cinderella left on the stairs in her hasty retreat. The prince swore that he would try it on every girl till he found his princess Starlight again.

Scene change: Buttons met with Cinderella and with many words and very fast talking described all the things that had happened in the previous night including the carriage made from a pumpkin and the teddy being a coachman and the ball and (singing) “All about the bass” and “Wrecking ball” and… but he thought he had all dreamt it. When Cinderella was finally able to get a word in (he talked really fast LOL) she said that no, she experienced all this, and it was true.

Buttons thought she was kidding him, he even asked the boys and girls in the audience if she was, but she could prove it – she had the other glass slipper left.

Then came an emotional roller coaster for poor Buttons. We awed quite a lot at him. Because he realized, if it was not a dream, then Cinderella was really in love with Dandini and not himself. But Cinderella said no, she wasn’t actually in love with Dandini – which gave Buttons false hope, and before she could continue to explain the mixup, Buttons finally gave her the present he wanted to give her all the time. You know, the package he had wrapped up himself.

A very cute Teddy bear was in the present – the one that had appeared in the first half already when John had been in his night gown, if you remember. But Cinderella squished quickly all hopes when she said that she loved Buttons only as a brother. She was trying to tell him all the time – she wasn’t in love with Dandini because Dandini was in fact Prince Charming. And that’s who she was in love with. Poor Buttons :(

Buttons tried to put up a very brave façade and told Cinderella that he was fine and she should not worry about him. But everyone could see it wasn’t true. John is always so good with emotions. He did encourage the “Awwws” a bit though with his hands. Sneaky movements he thought Cinderella would not see ;) And we happily complied.

Cue some swing music and Buttons singing a quick rendition of Let’s face the music and dance from a very old Fred Astaire movie. With a very looooooooooooong note at the end that gave him time to leave the stage, and come back and snatch the Teddy away while still singing. Then he left for good.

Cinderella was upset that she brought so much trouble and the fairy tried to console her. She still had that glass slipper after all, so maybe some magic was left in it?

The women left and when Buttons came back with the teddy the stage was empty. He sat down on a bench, which in the four shows I watched I NEVER saw how it suddenly appeared – magic indeed? ;) He sat the teddy next to him, in a very cute way, with its paws in its lap and its head hanging. John’s head hang as well. They made quite a pair. Then John sang the song When you tell me that you love me which you can find on his first DVD from 2009. While singing, he also grabbed the Teddy’s arm with one hand and his neck with the other, and moved him like a puppeteer. The teddy was looking up at him or slightly swinging with the music. It looked indeed like it was alive! It was such a cute scene. The teddy had some sad expression which fit the scene very well – two lonely boys just hoping for some love.

Link: Picture of the teddy

I have been told that during the New Year’s Eve show somehow the arm of the teddy suddenly came loose in the middle of the song. While he kept singing, John showed the arm to the audience. Then apparently he did his best to bring the scene to its end, but it must have been difficult with the audience giggling that much – must have been quite a funny sight and we know John likes a giggle ;) But giggling and singing at the same time, is quite a challenge.

He finally lost it completely when he came to the line “I’ll make you safe no matter where you are…” After all, it’s the little things that make a performance special. Wish I had seen it.

Of course, this is a pantomime, so we could not stay sad for long. Buttons left, and back were Sadie and Senga. They wanted to make sure that Cinderella did not get a chance to try on the slipper. First they tried to send her to the kitchen with the order: “Count every grain of salt and wash every grain of sugar!” But for the first time this evening, she stood up for herself and said No! Well done, Cinderella! But then she messed it all up again by showing the actual glass slipper. That got her thrown into the cellar, together with Boris.

Of course Buttons only came back after everything had already happened.

We now got a very good look at Boris. He had quite grown in the last hour. A huge mechanical spider came out from behind the curtain and flew in the air, right over the first rows. I have no idea how they did that! I loved that it was a real spider this time, no 3D like the previous years. You could have almost touched it. Lots of screaming in the audience. Before it retreated again, black paper streamers were falling down on us. Ewwwwwwwwwwww! I really do prefer the colorful glittery ones of the end of the pantomime!

Time for another Ian/Janette Krankie sketch. Janette was William Wallace, clad in a brown kilt and a red tartan plaid. Apparently the red cloth was so that you could not see her blood when she got shot. The brown kilt was for – other mishappenings ;)

Again I needed some explaining for some of the jokes in there as my knowledge of Scottish history is not so good. Thank you Saida who saw the show twelve times and apparently could have taken a role in it by the end!

Janette said that her great-great-great-great-great grandfather was killed in the battle of Bannockburn. But he was not fighting in it. He was just camping next door and went to complain about the noise.

And then Janette’s great-great-great-great-great (sorry if I miss some greats in there, I didn’t exactly count them ;) ) uncle was injured in the battle of Stirling Bridge. He was hit by an English arrow.

“Through his heart?”

“Up his bum.”


“Wrecked him? It nearly killed him!” (I love Scottish)

Also, if you didn’t know it, William Wallace actually died as a happy man. Ian said that they did erect a monument of him! And the erection is still standing till this day. Yeah, I’ll just leave that standing there as well. No wonder he died a happy man though.

Then Ian and Janette also sang a song but I’m afraid I never understood a single word of it or what it was about ;) There was a lot of “Shoobeedoo” in it, that’s all I can say. I’m sure it was very patriotic. If there are Scots among us, maybe you can help me out there. I need subtitles ;) There are pantomimes that get a signer for deaf people, why not subtitles for poor foreigners? Or overtitles rather, like in an opera house ;) But I digress.

Link: Picture of Ian and Janette Krankie

Now it was Sadie’s and Senga’s turn to try on the prince’s glass slipper. For this occasion, they were dressed in a nightmare of pink (one) and red (the other) dressing gowns. But there were – difficulties. First they fought about who was the first, a real cat fight. Then Senga sat down on the chair and poor Dandini had to put the slipper on her foot. But it didn’t quite fit. The reason was, Senga still wore her winter stockings. She asked them to pull them off. And they pulled. And pulled. And pulled. And it grew longer and longer and longer. It seemed to never end. The music that played with it was the song of the Volga boatmen: “Ey, ukhnem!, Yo, heave-ho!”

But finally it ended and was off. Still, the slipper did not fit.

Sadie pushed Senga off the chair, and told Dandini that he was a bit half-hearted in his actions. The way she pronounced it though, it sounded more like “I’ve farted” and Dandini scrunched his nose. She also was proud that she was good at sports. Her doctor said she had athlete foot. Another term I never had heard before! Makes sense I guess, with all the germs in the changing rooms?

But which surprise, the slipper fit! It really fit! How was that possible? Because Sadie cheated. She had a false leg with her but was found out.

The prince and Dandini wanted to leave again, but the Baron said that Cinderella was still missing. But where was she? We could hear Button’s voice from out of the cellar and the audience was asked to shout for the fairy who with her magic wand opened the door to free them.

And Cinderella sat down and the shoe fit. Of course it did. Was there any doubt?

The prince asked the Baron whether he could take Cinderella’s hand in marriage. The Baron replied that he should take all of her, not only the hand! An old joke, but still funny. He also told the sisters that he would not marry their mother!

Sadie and Senga needed to be punished for their behaviour, does everyone agree with me on that? (Janette: Lock them up until Craig Whyte pays the 3 million back) Well, the punishers were on their way. Two scantily clad muscular men, in black leather. They were told to take the ugly sisters away. The ugly sisters were very happy about that prospect actually, and each of them picked up one of the (much smaller than them) young men and carried them away. Buttons called after them: “You can come back for me later!” Bet he’d like that ;)

Cinderella said good-bye to Buttons, and he got finally a kiss – a flying kiss. He caught it in his hand and released it into the air after she had gone. We could hear her voice, saying a few things she had said earlier to him. Awww :(
But the fairy realized that she had been so occupied to make Cinderella happy, she had forgotten about poor Buttons. She intended to make it right now.

He laid down on the stage for a sleep, and she whispered to him that he will find his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Then, while Buttons still was sleeping, she started with the intro of “Somewhere over the rainbow”.

Then John slowly “awoke”, sat up and joined in with the song. Here is a clip of John actually singing it at a book fair: Somewhere over the Rainbow First it was a duet of him together with the fairy, but then also Cinderella came back for the next verse and the song became a trio. Beautiful. I always have loved this song. At the end Buttons went and brought the teddy bear back to Cinderella, and she hugged it. The background had moved away in the meantime, and a fire wheel was spinning to the last notes.

This gave the story of Buttons a hopeful end after all. Although it would have been nice if he had ended up with Dandini!

But wait – the story is over already? Where is the “going undercover” part? You know, the one that was so successful in “Jack and the Beanstalk”? I had been promised it would be here, I even brought an umbrella…

Ah, there was Ian, in his Scottish kilt! And Janette, and John – of course. Having changed clothes again in super speed. Plus the fairy.

And they sang the now already famous “Twelve days of Christmas” – the Scottish edition.
- A fairy for the top of the tree (John)
- 2 Super scooshers (Janette & John)
- 3 football strips (Ian)
- 4 Haggis supper (Fairy)
- 5 lavy rolls (John)
- 6 Peshwari naans (Janette)
- 7 George Square pigeons (Ian)
- 8 Chicken currys (Fairy)
- 9 Tartan tammys (John)
- 10 Mushroom pizzas (Janette)
- 11 Christmas Crackers (Ian)
- 12 Irn Brus (Fairy)

The more things they laid down on stage, the more they had to run back and forth to pick and hold them up when it was their turn. Remember, two years ago John did all this with a bad back.

Of course Janette and John used their opportunity to get the audience (and each other) wet with their super scooshers. I had come prepared this time with an umbrella – a teeny weeny doll umbrella with the British flag as design. Of course it didn’t do much but I held it up anyway ;) Not sure if it was me John meant when he said “You’ll need more than that”. Or maybe it’s just all in my head.

At one point the fairy miscounted and sang of eight Haggis Supper instead. At another time she lost a high heel while jumping around the stage (John’s comment: “I’ve never met a fairy who cannae walk in high heels!”). Of course also John and Janette slipped again on the wet stage and we got an eyeful of John’s soaked underwear under the kilt. At one time also Janette’s kilt came off and John took his sweet time to get it fastened again. She commented that this was way better than the bed scenes in previous years ;)

And if you think any of those things happened by accident, you have to think twice. As they happened every single time ;) And they also laughed themselves silly every single time.

But nothing beats John and his lavy rolls, swinging them around, and then letting them go (purposefully) flying off into the audience. You would never know what happened after that – sometimes it were little kids picking them up and bringing them back, other times John took the chance to sit again with his kilt on the heads of people of the audience.

But there was one time where it indeed went wrong. He let go at the wrong time and the rolls flew – to the curtain behind him. He actually had to spin them again to get them into the audience. I guess then everyone knew it was no accident ;)

Usually, they flew straight ahead into the middle of the audience. But at the very last evening, John threw them to his far left, somewhere to the end of row B far to the side. Before I could ask myself why that was, he already had run off stage and sat on the head of another person – who turned out to be John’s husband Scott. While coming back on stage, John meant: “Nothing you haven’t seen before!” LOL

There was also a play with the naan:

Janette: "I think you've touched my nan!"

John: "I have touched many things but I definitely never touched your nan!" (if you know which things John as a gay man never would touch then you know what nan also means)

When they were done with the song, the whole stage was full of things. So John had the fabulous idea to sing the song again, backwards and faster, and picking it all up while doing so.

What a great idea to have this song at the end as the highlight of the show.

Now only the finale was left. The wonderful song “Not a second to lose” was played again and on the huge stair case first the dancers appeared, and then all the others – Dandini, the prince, Cinderella, the ugly sisters, the fairy, the Krankies and finally John, each of them dressed in a more shiny glitterly version of their costume (how did the last four change so quickly again? Clearly, magic) and each getting a huge round of applause from the audience.

John made a last speech, telling the audience that if they think they saw the best pantomime in the SECC, we should tell all our neighbours to come here.

At the very last Sunday evening he also got out again all the people behind the scenes, all the stage managers and dressers without whom the show would not be working. And then he made a very emotional speech about this being the last time of this family being together, as next year there will be David Hasselhoff. He also gave us slight hope that they might be back the year after. Let’s cross our fingers for that!

It was, in fact, so emotional, that John mixed up his words and said “Every year Glasgow has opened us with welcomed arms” and didn’t even realize what he said even when some started to giggle.

If you like to read more about why he didn’t return, read this interview here:

Then Happy was played for a last time and John took Janette by the arms and spinned her around. And the audience got covered in those shiny colorful stripes falling from the ceiling.

And that was really it. I will miss not travelling to Glasgow next year, but my purse surely will be happy about it. I’m sure somewhere, some day we all will see each other again.

Till then!

Tags: glasgow 2015, john barrowman, music, panto

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