Antje (dieastra) wrote,

Detailed report of Panto "Jack and the Beanstalk" with John & Greg Barrowman in Glasgow

So it happened that the first Panto I ever saw was with a Barrowman, but not THE Barrowman. Surely you all heard by now that on Friday afternoon John fell off a (real!) horse during the show, had to be taken to hospital and got replaced by (the son of) his cousin. I already wrote a bit and posted a picture of me with Greg Barrowman here

Still we all were relieved to hear that John had not broken anything but was “just” badly bruised and like the trooper he is he was back on stage on Saturday afternoon. Here comes my detailed report for all of you at home that could not be there, and as a memory for those that saw it. Enjoy!

The show opened with Princess Apricot singing “What a feeling”. After she left John appeared first on stage flying in from above with fireworks, waving to the audience and singing "Let me entertain you". Then he did a bit of speech that he got bucked on stage which was a first even for him and that he made the news three days in a row but that he felt much better now. After that he admitted that he was "in love with a lassie" and when some people laughed he told them to suspend their belief at least for one evening *g*

But he wasn’t sure whether she would love him as well, as he was very poor. “Because I’m the only celebrity that still pays all his taxes!”

After he left the stage, the Krankies got a solo part to introduce them. They were happy to be back in the “Sexy Center” according to Janette but Ian told her it’s called the SECC. But she said, it’s still sexy when JB is here. “John Barrowman?” – “No, Jack and the Beanstalk!”

There were lots more of jokes flying around, one went like this: “What do you call a cow that just had a calf?” – “Decalfinated!”

There was also a bit about Iraq and Kuh-Wait (that joke works really well in German I think!) but Ian never managed to get his lines right. Each time John threw more scripts from the wings onto stage, which they picked up and included a few improvised lines.

Then John/Jack came back on stage and he greeted his "Dad" and his wee brother Jimmy aka Ian and Janette Krankie. “The only family where the wee brother is older than the big brother!” He had to kneel down to hug her, and somewhat felt up her breasts with a funny expression. She told the audience "I'm really going to miss this part" LOL

There were some jokes about Jack’s castanets and he told a story about a restaurant in Spain where he once had eaten the biggest two meatballs you’ve ever seen. But when he wanted to have them the next day again he only got two tiny little meatballs. So he asked: “How come yesterday you had those huuuuge meatballs and today only those tiny little meatballs?” – “Well, senior, sometimes the bull wins!” Usually John was telling this joke, but on the Sunday matinee the honor went to Janet.

Jack told them that he thinks he is in love with Apricot and Jimmy asked if he really fancies her. And if he really is like – oh boy, how to describe that? Janette made a funny noise and rubbed her hands all over her body. So Jack thought he had done it wrong all the time. When he later declared his love to the princess he did the same. John went totally over the top with this part. One time he even included acting out a horse gallop and a fall. But the funniest thing happened when at the last matinee the princess did the same as an answer! And later even the fairy! We laughed so much.

So while usually Jack had yelled to Jimmy “It’s not working!” this time it worked indeed.

So, the "lassie" Jack was in love with was Princess Apricot and how convenient, she was in love with Jack as well. When Jack and her first met on stage they both said a lot of “Wow!” to each other, till Jimmy felt left out and said Wow as well. Jack was so overwhelmed that he even forgot his own name. And he loved when she called him “cute”. Cue John giving us a wink accompanied with a “bling” from the orchestra, just like recently in the “Watson & Oliver” show.

Then there was a bit where we only heard the thoughts of Jack and Apricot, which came as a recording. Apricot said something like that Jack is the most handsome guy and she used a few more adjectives, to which Jack replied “I wrote that bit!” It was a bit weird though to see Greg on stage on Friday evening but listen to John’s voice. But at least we got a little bit of John that way in the performance.

But as they just were about to kiss always someone interrupted - first Fairy Firefly - "Haven't you seen a fairy before?" and when the audience sniggered about that John told us "Shut it!" Then he tried again to kiss the princess. There was romantic music, a lot of "Jack!" and "Apricot!" and "Jack!" and "Apricot!", he had her bend over at the waist when Fleshcreep appeared. He spoke a long speech (always in rhymes because of the fairy) during which John suffered much, as the princess, as tiny as she was, became heavier and heavier and his foot slipped more and more until he was almost doing the splits *g*

At one point he even let her fall to the ground but immediately picked her up again, in a different pose this time though which can't be described but was very funny to look at. He grabbed her bum and her leg and she held on for dear life while he was making the funniest "suffering" faces. At one show Pete Gallagher left especially long pauses in his speech and John made that rolling motion with his hands for him to move on. Guess he was quite happy when that part of the play was over, what with the bad back and all.

There was also a village fair going on and King Crumble, the princess’ father, declared that whoever defeated the giant would get the hand of his daughter. So Jack saw his chance there. The scene ended with him and the princess singing “I’m a believer”.

Then the now infamous scene with the horse happened. Neither John nor Greg did ever again get onto that horse, they just walked next to it when it came on stage. There was also a guy named Timmy who held it. In the beginning John went to the far left side to bring as much space as possible between him and the horse *g* Then he let Charlie show some tricks, he got whispered into his ear that the horse had to go to the bathroom and when he asked if he couldn’t do anything about it, it crossed its legs LOL It also gave an impression of one of the “Loose Women” woman (Janet Street Porter) and made a nice Royal bow and finally gave John a sloppy kiss. Then John got a pillow from the side, with a little announcement “Today’s QVC special value, Northern Nights” LOOOOOL

Charlie lay down on it and while John gave him a few carrots he sang a lullaby for him – “Baby mine” where he included an extra bit “don’t you mind what they say cause it’s not your fault” and he lay down next to it. Then Timmy and Charlie left the stage and the princess reappeared. She asked if Jack remembered when they met last time? “Yes, I was carried off stage on a stretcher!”

Again the romantic music played but this time it was Jimmy who interrupted the kiss with “He’s going to kiss her and he’s just snogged a horse!” The princess heard it and suddenly had more important business to do somewhere else. I cannot blame her – ewwww!

Jack was left with his Dad and Jimmy. There was a long sentence with what they should do-do about Day-zee the coo-coo and a big boo-boo and Jack in a tu-tu and going to the loo-loo and making a poo-poo but what if there's a queue-queue which Jimmy/Janette told.

But then the awful thunderstorm sound came again and we heard the voice of the giant. All people on stage listened in fear. Usually John stood alone in the middle but at the Sunday matinee all the male dancers grabbed him on his legs for moral support LOL

The baddie Fleshcreep – Booooo! – arrived again and wanted to abduct Apricot. Jack tried to hit him but only hurt his fist as Fleshcreep was much bigger and stronger. Then Jack got hit back and fell down unconscious. Two times I saw John just stumble around the stage until finally falling gracilely down with a very gay "Ow!" but at the last performance we got treated to a complete roll-over backwards over his head, which looked like a headstand at first, and then he did even a kind of breakdance at his belly. I guess that was the fall like it was before the backache. It went so quickly, I would have liked to see it more often. Very elegant!

Unfortunately he only woke up when Fleshcreep and Apricot had already left. What was he going to do now?

Ian and Janette got another solo bit during which she sang a bit of “Skyfall” and they were teasing each other a lot. She was a bit depressed that he always was picking on her. It would’ve been convincing hadn’t she always laughed at that bit *g* Then she sang the song “He’s always picking on me” which was too funny.

Then they called Day-zee. She was the most lovely cow you've ever seen. Very cute and long lashes at the eyes. I loved how John was always touching her, rubbing her back or the mouth or kissing it. You can see that he is a great animal lover, even if the animal is fake. If I had been on stage, I’m sure I could’ve not kept my hands off her as well. I love cows and she looked very soft and plushy. Who needs John Barrowman on stage as long as there is a cute cow? *g* Ow, don’t hit me! Just joking. Panto is infecting me.

For those that haven’t seen them yet, here is a link to a few pictures of Day-Zee, John and the Krankies:

The milk she gave came out already pasteurized in a bottle. But they needed to sell her. Cue sniffing sad John who brushed her teeth and combed her hair to make her look pretty. The audience aawwwed a lot but also sniggered the more desperate and over the top he became in his grief. Sometimes he couldn't help laughing as well *g* At the end he gave Day-zee a "necklace" which actually was a "For Sale" sign.

And then John started to sing “If you leave me Cow” at which time the audience totally lost it. I have no idea how he managed to look still sad and in tears *g* And Day-zee joined in with the song, singing “Moo-mooo-oo”. Three times with a deep voice and in the Sunday matinee with a very high voice LOL

Fleshcreep had dressed up as an ordinary farmer “MacDonald” and wanted to buy Day-zee off of Jack. (Jack wasn’t crying, he only had some farm dust in his eye – or so he told) Fleshcreep spoke in a sophisticated voice and Jack asked, what is that and he answered: "That's called acting, maybe you should try it once" to which John made his "shocked" face *g* Then he got offered to be a millionaire and the famous "Who wants to be a millionaire" sound was played. Dun-Dun-Dun. Jack asked if he could call a friend which Fleshcreep denied. Then Jack asked the audience: "Shall I sell Day-zee to this lovely man?" and of course we all yelled "Noooooo!"

"But he looks like a nice farmer?" - "Nooooooo!"

"So you say no?" - "Yes!"

"Okay, you said yes, so the deal is done!"

The cow had to go off with MacDonald to the song "Old MacDonald had a farm..." and we got to the "Oh yes she is" - "Oh no she's not!" part.

Jack went back home to show his bag of gold he had gotten, but it was only beans. The word "beans" was repeated several times until Jimmy farted because of "too many beans". Daddy Trot threw them out of the door in anger.

They could not solve the problem with the giant today anymore so they went upstairs to go to bed. John did not like the three beds, it was one more than last year. Janette said that they did not want to make the Sunday Mail news again but since John fell of the horse this was too late now anyway. So John went in bed together with Janette. She also told him that yesterday she had been in bed with his cousin to which he replied "An ordinary Friday night for you then!" LOL

Then a lot of double-meaning dirty bed-jokes were flying around, with a lot of improvising and giggling from all. Janette wanted to help John out of his clothes to "wash" them but the washing machine wasn't invented yet. She told the audience, that she only tried for us *g* Then she treated John to one of the ear-rubs which Fern Britton recently did and also John's grandmother had done when he was little. And Janette realized "I could be your granny". They also found an awful lot of stuff in their beds. John grabbed onto something furry which turned out to be Ian’s – what do you call the little bag that hangs on a Scottish kilt? - sporran! Janette got hungry and dived under the cover where she discovered a "banana" which turned out to be a lolly though. John licked it and Ian commented from the left field "You'll make your sheet sticky!" John also threw a few pillows at him and told us we should not encourage him any further *g*

At the end they all said good night to each other and you surely know what now would come. Of course: “Good night John-boy!” LOL

The fairy had been busy in the meantime and had made the beans grow up to the sky to cloud land. The beanstalk grew to "Spread the love (beans) around".

The three of them discovered that in the morning and were amazed. Jack gave a patriotic speech with “Friends, Romans, countrymen, we will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them on the streets, we will fight them at the Savoy Center…” and so on and sometimes we cheered after each line. Then Jack and Jimmy went up the beanstalk. They got hooked up on two lines each and "climbed" up to the song “The edge of glory”. Janette even did a somersault up in the air and John grabbed her hand and said that she never will fall off a beanstalk again as long as she's with him. This referred of course to the bad fall she took some years ago where suffered a fractured skull.

Then we got the interval.

The second act started with Fleshcreep singing “I can’t be tamed” which I just discovered is actually a Miley Cyrus song. I am not listening to much pop music you know.

Up in cloudland Jack met with Jimmy and Daddy and discussed how to best dress up to go un-noticed into the Giant's palace. Jack said that they might look for adults so why not dress up as children? Daddy Trot wasn't convinced it would work but Janette-Jimmy said that it worked for her for years already *g*

To give them time to dress up the abducted princess did a bit of commercial for Skype which apparently was one of the sponsors. She also sang a love song, “Make you feel my love”. Fleshcreep does not like to be called puny, btw. He got a bit agitated and jumped around like Rumpelstiltskin when that word was mentioned. Then he wanted to prove that he was not puny by lifting a barbell with 10 pounds on each side. The impression was lost though when a tiny dancing girl carried it off stage with one hand LOL

Then the three of them reappeared with hilarious red wigs and Scottish kilts. I found a picture of it here

When I say the three of them I mean first only Daddy and Jack. They had to sing "Mull of Kintyre" to get Jimmy out who was doing the "mist" with a fire extinguisher. Which she emptied out right under John's kilt. It was only the start of the most hilarious scene of the whole play. I've seen it four times and each one became more crazy than the previous one. I'm not sure I will be able to describe it properly but I will do my very best.

So, they sang "The twelve days of Christmas". The first thing John got was "a fairy for the top of the tree" which was Fairy Firefly of course. The second day Jack and Janette got two water pump guns which they used extensively over the audience while the musicians hid under umbrellas. The third day Ian got three football shirts. At the fourth day there was some Haggis which the fairy got. Since she was at the end of the line now John was the first when singing "And a fairy for the top of the tree" but he had run out of a fairy. He stopped in the middle of the sentence and said: "No, I'm not doing it. I've been set up!" (for anyone not getting the reference, as I first did, apparently fairy is another word for someone queer. Get it now?)

But she said “Come on, I know you want to do it” and of course in the end John gave us the fairy with a cute curtsey, because he's "proud of it". From now on, with each added item they were running back and forward a lot, to go to their items, hold them up in the air and then go back to the next they had. It looked quite exhausting *g* And it always ended with John and Janette wetting the audience with their water guns. They had a lot of fun with them. At one point Janette aimed under John's kilt - "Oy! I'm soaking!" Another time they "slipped" and ended up sitting at each other, which gave us plenty of time to study John's tighty whities *g* This part was scripted, it even appeared in the performance with Greg. On Saturday night however something really went wrong, somehow Janette's wig came off under John’s kilt and John tried to put it and the microphone back on but it really took a while and it wasn't helped much that they all laughed their kilted bottoms off.

John also asked Janette how come that her gun is splashing the water farther away than his. To which she replied it's because she is just a wee boy *g* At one point also John did a leap and they asked what the noise was - "I think I just farted".

Another time Ian "slipped" as well and showed us his panties but John's reaction was only a fake throw-up because he had ended up with his nose directly in it. Janet said that she looks at that every day *g*

The fifth thing John got was a line of five toilet rolls (he sang "lavy rolls") which he twirled around and sometimes he sent them flying off far into the audience. Which gave him the opportunity to come down from the stage, and he always chose an unsuspecting audience member to climb on and sit on them with their heads under his kilt. He was getting rid of the water in his pants that way *g* Sometimes he had fun with men but with women as well. Some were more bluntly than others and they took advantage of the situation. I think both parties quite enjoyed it ;) (I guess it's no surprise if I tell you that Greg was not doing the sitting on people part. He got his rolls back after he asked nicely for them)

At the last performance on Sunday evening John went to the woman who was sitting right behind me so I also got a good look at the Barrowbum (and legs). Thank again for the ticket, Bettina *g*

The song continued till the twelfth item and they all were totally out of breath at the end. But what a performance! I guess everyone who saw it will never forget it.

Quick change of clothes (sometimes you could see John still finish closing his trousers with his back to the audience when he already was back on stage) because now we came to the part with 3D for the the giant's castle. We all had to put our glasses on. The actors acted in front of the screen, "climbed" up to the table for example and even knocked over a huge pepper mill which made the giant sneeze and the snot was flying up at as, as well as many more "ewww" monsters. When there were a lot of children in the audience, a lot of screaming could be heard *g*

Here is a video of it, put up by the company who made it:

Finally they freed the princess. Again there was a bit of “Oh Jack!” – “Oh Apricot!” flying around but also again Fleshcreep interrupted. Jack was a bit miffed by then: “Am I ever getting to kiss the girl?”

To distract Fleshcreep suddenly Janette appeared singing “Barbie girl” as "I'm a booby girl". She was dressed up most lovely in a pink long gown with long blonde hair as well, and her boobies, while starting out small, grew more and more during the song. Those who've seen the last tour of John Barrowman might recognize the balloons *g* Finally Fleshcreep used a needle to let them go *poof* She was dancing around a lot, she is really agile for her age!

Jack did not want to leave without Jimmy and Janette-Jimmy re-appeared singing and dancing "Gangnam style" At one performance John only sang together with her, but at the other two all of them joined in with the dance moves. Too bad it was so short.

Then came the second 3-D part, this time about them escaping the castle. On Sunday afternoon they set up the fairy. All the others left the stage and the poor girl had to do all the climbing and fighting by herself.

To give the others time to escape the fairy pretended she was in love with Fleshcreep and she sang the song "Daddy I'm falling for a monster" which I have as a catchy tune in my head right now, thank you very much. Told you I don't listen to much pop music and I hadn't heard the song before. Again something special on the Sunday matinee – while the fairy was sitting and singing suddenly Day-zee reappeared on the left side and sang the song together with her. Too cute!

So together with Day-zee everyone went down the beanstalk again. When the giant attempted to follow, Jack cut the beanstalk off with five strokes of his axe while we had to count down from five to one which we happily did. The giant tumbled to his dead.

But Fleshcreep still was left and he and Jack engaged in a sword fight. Jack asked Fairy Firefly for a sword which she always gave him - only at the Sunday matinee she told him she couldn't find one and gave him a mop instead. John didn't bat an eye and fought with the mop just as well as with the sword and defeated Fleshcreep. Then he asked the audience what he should do with him. Of course we wanted him to kill him. "I've told you, I can't kill anyone in pantomime!" But the fairy got the solution for the problem and set him up to pamper and feed Day-zee for the rest of his life.

Now Jack thought he had fulfilled all his tasks but of course the most important part was left yet: to propose to the princess. He asked us if he really should do it and of course we all gave a big "YESSSS!" So he went down on one knee and asked her to marry him. The romantic music came again but John cut it off and just kissed her. Finally. Took a few minutes and a lot of saliva and when they finally parted, she had lipstick smeared all over her mouth - as had he LOL

Now they invited us all to the wedding and to give them all time to dress up in their wedding clothes, Ian and Janette brought a huge board with some lines of a song we should all sing along. It went like this:

The 2012 Olympics was year to make some noise
for there among the others were the Scottish girls and boys

As they raced across the water and round the Velodrome
We watched our Bonnie lads and lasses bring those medals home.

Here you can listen to the audio of the whole song:

That was the chorus and then they sang some funny verses which I have to admit that I didn't understand much of them. I'm sure they were funny though as the audience laughed a lot, and actually with the fourth performance I had caught up quite nicely with all the Scottish that was flowing around. I had a bit of hard time at the first show with Greg, as his Glaswegian is even broader than John's, and I needed time to get used to the Krankies slang, but in the end I did.

Anyway, at the Sunday matinee which was the last one of the show, while we were singing the song suddenly John reappered, dressed in a lovely glittery bikini and with feathers on his bum and head. Apparently he had found the costume which already had appeared earlier in this show when King Crumble had done his Disco Dance, which already was a hilarious sight on its own, but on the Sunday matinee he got this hot lady who accompanied him on stage. Imagine Brazilian dancers and you know exactly what John looked like. But if you think we got to see his naked flesh you think wrong. He wore white trousers and a shirt underneat. Well, it was the afternoon after all, what did you expect? But he waved his bottom and danced around a lot, but he did not manage to get the Krankies off their task.

Then it already was the finale, everyone had dressed up in white and gold, even the baddie, and everyone got a huge applause, except the baddie, which still got only a "Booooo!" Poor guy *g* The biggest applause of course got the Krankies and when finally John appeared, the house exploded.

There was a bit more dancing again to the song “The edge of glory” and John also twirled Janet around a bit, but I think he still was a bit careful because of his back. At the very last performance he even brought out a pony to give it to her as a gift. The pony attempted to crash another toe of him (or did it try to bite him? Not sure). I guess it was not his lucky year with horses this time around.

At the very last performance John also called all the dressers and behind-the-scenes people on stage, so we gave them a huge applause as well, and he also always asked for a bit of money for a Scottish charity, the Down Syndrome Scotland. He hoped to achieve 15.000 pounds at the end which is impressive.

That's it, I picked up a bit of tinsel as a memory and now I'm sitting here and am officially hooked. All the years I did not understand why everyone was so crazy about Panto, but the tiny clips and pictures you get really don't give you the whole picture. Come over and see for yourself and tell your friends about it. I will be back whenever they are back!

Please tell me if you have any additions or corrections to make.

Here is a little clip with a video where you can see a bit of John singing and dancing "I'm a believer" on stage:

And here is the BBC Scotland news from Saturday January 5th with him arriving on Stage door, a little interview and a bit of him on stage:

TV news from Friday January 4th about the accident:

And a video of me at stage door while getting autograph from John:

Tags: glasgow 2013, greg barrowman, john barrowman, panto, the krankies

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