Little Johnny’s Big Gay Adventure

Arches, Glasgow, Thu 10-Sat 12 May


It’s been 18 months since Johnny McKnight last performed his squirmingly honest solo show at the Arches and things have changed.

‘Thirty’s looming, Madonna’s adopted a black baby and designed a range for H&M, and I’ve been to see her tour.’ Although McKnight has had to adjust his material to cope with these seismic changes, Little Johnny’s Big Gay Adventure is still essentially a coming out/of age story, wound inexorably around Madonna’s career path, his bright, brassy wit not-quite concealing a deeper vulnerability.

‘After the last one people did come up and say to me “I can’t believe you’re actually saying these things in front of an audience”. To be honest, it never occurred to me that I shouldn’t,’ he says. ‘There’s a difference between making a story out of something painful you’ve already dealt with, and burdening somebody with a confession. If you can find the punchline in something . . .’ Like the fact that he once caught scabies - ‘Off a doctor! Exactly!’ At least the one true love of McKnight’s life has stayed true to him, though? ‘Well, I don’t know. I might start blaming Madonna for the fact I’m still single,’ he says, darkly. ‘What was that she told me when I was eleven? “Don’t go for second best?” Aye. I’m beginning to think it might all be her fault.’

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