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Diary: John Barrowman offers too much Dick for one family

John Barrownman in Dick Whittington) at Manchester Opera House. Photo: Phil Tragen

It’s panto season! Oh yes it is! Oh no it isn’t! Oh…that’s enough of that.

But Tabard does love to read of all the families taking to the theatres across the land to enjoy festive entertainment with their families.

And it sounds like Julian Clary has been piling on the innuendos at the London Palladium [1] this year, where Dick Whittington is the panto of choice. One can only imagine how much fun Clary has had with Dick in that particular show.

Turns out, however, not all audiences who go to panto want to deal with such crude jokes.

Take Natalie Wood, for example, who attended Dick Whittington at Manchester Opera House with 10 family members (including six kids) and took offence at star John Barrowman apparently inviting the audience to chant “Alice loves Dick” over and over.

Wood said this crossed the line from innuendo to ‘raw’ vulgarity, according to the BBC. Calling for the show to be axed, she complained: “My children were repeating Alice loves Dick… throughout the evening.” But producer Qdos Entertainment said the double entendres were in keeping with panto traditions.

Dick Whittington review at Manchester Opera House – ‘a sumptuous showcase’ [2]

And Tabard can’t help thinking the panto will carry on running, and that Barrowman will continue to encourage the chanting.

Just be thankful Barrowman didn’t do the old trick he’s famous for – that of surreptitiously whipping out his own Dick Whittington to embarrass fellow cast members.

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk [3]