Aladdin – last two performances, Jan.9th, 2011

As always the last matinee of a Pantomime is the one show you do not want to miss – it’s the show where the mishaps are deliberately created by the actors to derail them. It’s hilarious. If you’ve seen a “normal” performance before, that is…

When the curtain goes up to the very first song, not only were all the male dancers without shirts – and yummie they looked! -,  John’s dresser Finlay was also still on stage and fiddling with John’s black pants. I asked him later if there was a hole or something, but he just laughed and replied, “no, John was just being very naughty again!”.

The half naked dancers had a nice effect on John, though. By the end of “Let’s get this party started” he slipped out of his jerkin and started to pull his white shirt out of his pants. and was gone from the stage before flesh showed!

Then the script made an appearance on stage again during the first dialogue of the Krankies ( oh, look, not opened…) and clearly it was John whose finger pointed to parts of the scripted jokes! But this time toilet paper was rolling onto the stage and unravelling!

During the song 500 miles John grabbed one of the dancer’s butt, but his retaliation came fast:

During the scene where Churchill appears on top of a box  (“product placement!”) there was banging to be heard – and as Greg Barrowman had told us that John would be VERY surprised we assumed he was in the box trying to get out!

The hypnosis scene was spiced up by yet another half naked dancer massaging John’s shoulders, and then Pete came with a big white ostrich feather and tickled him with it, trying to get him to giggle and give up his pose, but even though he teased him in places unmentionable John kept his posture and so the play commenced.

At the cave – when all the bats are flying out – John had previously added a line to his usual “I feel like I’m in Twilight!” but neither I nor Iris understood him -till during intermission our American friends stopped by and told us it was GERMAN! So I asked him at the stage door and he said “yeah, I wanted to say I’m in Twilight, and kept looking at you guys but you just were: hhhh (his face one big questionmark)! Oh, great, they understand my English, but not their own German, so how do you say ‘I’m in Twilight’?” “ich bin in Twilight” – “oh, well, I was close, then…” When the scene came again, he said “Ich bin in Twilight!” and we clapped and cheered!!

But the best thing happened on the last show:
The little boy they were calling up to the stage was talking about his christmas
gifts and that he’d put cookies out for Santa. So John asks what would happen if
Santa ate everybody’s cookies – he’d get too fat to come through the chimney.
(his punchline usually being “tell your parents to open up the front door next
christmas!”)
But then the little boy, not intimidated at all by John’s silver outfit with all
the diamonds and silver stitching, says “But he can do it – he’s magic!”; he is so cute, everybody is awwwwing. John smiles and says “Oh you’re right. I love
magical people – they sparkle, you know!”

To which the child says all earnest: “You sparkle!”
I had to bite back tears. (John was speechless for once and the audience cheered
and clapped madly!)

This child in his innocence had summed it up perfectly.
John actually sparkles, whatever he does.

And for the very last scene John came on stage alone, with a Chinese Lion’s head on – looked very smashing! And he got a standing ovation for that last show!
It was absolutely amazing – and I’ll probably need another year to recover. But then it’s Panto-time again and that is Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantastic – to borrow a Barrowman phrase!
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