nothing you‘re obliged to do. I don‘t like female impersonation -— you always know that Stanley Baxter and I are men dressed up. We‘re both ugly sisters. Obviously I‘m a little guy. so my Dame is cuddly. I don‘t see me as a glamorous Dame. I wouldn‘t play Mother Goose, because you need the height like Stanley Baxter.
Max Miller used to come on and say. ‘What do you want? Do you want a joke out of the blue book or a joke out of the white book?‘ And they‘d always say the blue book. He‘d say. “You see. it‘s not me!‘ I really do think it depends on your audience. You can have all the skill. but you can‘t go too far. you have to remember with pantomime in most cases you‘ve 150 Brownies and Cubs. You have to watch what you‘re doing.
B.M. That‘s a good point. I had to say to The Tron, ‘Look there‘s a couple Ofinnuendos in this and I think that they‘re subtle enough to go over the heads of the Brownies and land on the foreheads ofthe adults, but tell me if you think it‘s a problem.‘ You have to respect that audience. When I‘m going to write something like stand-up, I expect a certain amount of intelligence from the audience who would come to see me. But if I‘m going to write a pantomime that goes out the window.
But I‘m interested that there‘s Babes In The Wood, there‘s Cinderella, the fairy tales that keep coming up and I wonder why perhaps we don‘t see some more new ones written?
A.L. I would be with you on that.
B.M. You do see a few like The Magic Snowball. It‘d be nice to see the same kind of simple. moral
The only panto based on certain fact, ' Dick Whittington was Mayor of _ London three times in the middle l ages. His happy-go-lucky. friendly persona is more of a myth as he was a very, very rich merchant and didn‘t especially care for people who couldn‘t help him in his capital accumulation.
I Jack and the Beanstalk RSAMD. Glasgow.
Ofall ofthe panto characters. Jack must have the goriest origins. Rather than a simple boy. he was actually the first in a long line ofshorties with a personality problem (of. Napoleon. Hitler). The original Jack roamed around the west coast of Britain in the time of Alfred the Great slaying anybody who was of abnormal height (to petite Jack. that was quite a few).
I ANGUS LENNIE first appeared at the Old Metropole Theatre, Glasgow, at the age of fourteen with Short and Dalziel, the parents of Jimmy Logan. After a couple of years in the West End and some TV appearances, he spent seven years in the movies, taking roles in Tunes of Glory, 633 Squadron, Oh! What A Lovely War and The Great Escape, in which he played Piglet Ives.
After eight years as the chef in Crossroads, Lennie played in the Edinburgh International Festival production of The Three Estaites which went on to Warsaw. Soon after, Stanley Baxter and Bruce McClure invited him to play in Cinderella at the Klng’s, Edinburgh, followed by Glasgow the following year. He co-starred again with Baxter for two years in Mother Goose and is now back in Cinderella as an Ugly Sister.
I BRUCE MORTON trained as a clerk with Strathclyde Regional Council, but moved into stand-up comedy in 1988 after making his stage debut in the Finance Department’s production of Superannuation.
Gaining greatest prominence as regular comic on Channel 4’s Halfway To Paradise, he has made several TV appearances including BBCZ‘s Blood Tied and Colour Blind and the
forthcoming The Shoe Fetishist Guide To Bruce Morton. j
He appeared in the Tron Theatre’s Christmas show two years ago and The Treasure of Wookimagoo is his first pantomime.
dame and all.
' The Treasure of Wookimagoo plays The Tron,
I Mother Goose Citizens‘ Theatre.
; Charles Perrault again. When his fairy stories were translated into English. the were called The Tales of Mother Goose. London theatre picked up on the idea and in 1806 Joseph Grimaldi produced and starred in a radical theatrical experiment— the first true panto. I
tales with a bit of magic. but some new stories.
A.L. I would love to see some new ones. At the Princess in Glasgow — which is now The Citizens‘ Theatre — it was run by Harry McKelvie and he‘d do these pantos starring George West and they had a different subject every year, but the title had to have thirteen letters. They‘d faintly weave a pantomime around this story and every year it would be another thing. And I remember going to see Tommy Morgan at the Metropole in Tommv in Blunderland. There was no story at all! There‘s a lot ofthem neglected that were on the go and there are even some that are considered unlucky. Sinbad and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves are not considered very lucky pantos. don‘t ask me why.
B.M. I‘ve said to people before there should be more room in the theatre for out and out comedy. I would like to write something that was just as silly and as meaningless, but as joyful as Duck Soup or Coconuts. I think pantomime is the closest you get to that. That‘s one of the reasons why it’s such good fun. Generallythere is a moral, but for once you go to the theatre and it‘s just high comedy.
A.L. The Marx Brothers were great clowns. It‘s very difficult now to get that kind of work that you‘re thinking about. I suppose it‘s people like Max Wall. There‘s a big gap somewhere.
Glasgow, Sat 8 Dec—Sun 27Jan and Cinderella plays the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue4 Dec—Sat 16 Feb. Complete pantomime and Christmas show listings are included in the Theatre section.
I Snow White Paisley Arts Centre. Based on a Grimm tale in more ways ~ than one. Snow White has been open to more psychological analysis than any other fairy tale. The mutual attraction ofSnow White and the stepmother is a particular favourite : ofone German quack. as is the question pertinent to many ofthese stories - whatever happened to the father?
The List 23 November — 6 December 199015