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Dick McWhittington

Published Thursday 19 December 2013 at 11:04 by Gareth K Vile

The return of John Barrowman and the Krankies to Glasgow’s SECC has now become a seasonal fixture. But after last year’s action-packed show, in which the company seemed intent on creating a Wagnerian pantomime that incorporated everything from horse-riding to 3D computer graphics, Dick McWhittington feels almost low-key. Riding on the charisma of Barrowman and the vaudeville routines of the Krankies, McWhittington is a very traditional pantomime with a few additional technological tricks.

Barrowman’s Dick is at the centre of all the action - a leering, knowing presence - while the Krankies work the comic interludes. There are plenty of asides to adults, and play on Jeanette Krankie’s pensioner as schoolboy identity: the well-drilled chorus are suitably precise and glamorous, while Pete Gallagher’s King Rat gets the most out of his battles with the audience.

The spectacular set-pieces - high wires, pyrotechnics and, of course, the 3D graphics - are scattered liberally throughout the evening, but the structure is built firmly around giving the stars an opportunity to do their routines. Although there is a good connection between the audience and the stage, the success of the show relies as much on nostalgia for old fashioned fun as the acts themselves.

Production information

SECC, Glasgow, December 17-January 5

Jonathan Kiley, Alan McHugh
Jonathan Kiley, John Barrowman
Cast includes:
John Barrowman, The Krankies, Pete Gallagher, Ashleigh Gray, Lukus Alexander, Aaron Romano, Lisa-Anne Wood
Running Time:
2hrs 10mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014