- Lorna Irvine
- 1 December 2017
Psychedelic madness with the grand dame of the Pantosphere
Whit a carry on. Oor inimitable grand dame Johnny McKnight is back on bawdy form at the Macbob with a twerk and a twinkle. The writer, director and gallus matriarch sans pareil brings his twist (and a fair few shouts) to an eye-popping 60s riff on Dick Whittington. It all transpires via a Back To The Future style plot- by McKnight's admission pretty slim- where young Chick (a bright, lovable Emma Mullen) must defeat Queen Rat and her army, time travelling back to 1967 to ensure her folks get together.
Helen McAlpine's rodent leader is almost a match for McKnight's gobby Alice Fitzwarren-Whittington, with her chutzpah, zingers and general bad-ass sashay, but Robbie Jack's Slick gives good numpty- the scenes with him and his ample 'mum' are the most fun. As ever, the satire, this time regarding Kezia Dugdale on I'm A Celebrity, the rise of Caitlin Jenner and the fall of high street chains, are on point, puns fly, and there is enough daft action for the wee ones too. His female-led team move with style, thanks to Karen Martin's cute choreography and Jennifer Dick's youth leadership.
Costumes are always a key factor in the appeal, and Alison Brown's designs are exemplary-from a dress reminiscent of Leigh Bowery's heyday to a cumbersome cherry pie dress – not that they deter McKnight in any way from grinding, dropping and working his way through some delighted/mortified men in the audience. All the usual unusual in fact, and it's a slick and gallus joy. A winter warmer that slips down like a Hot Toddy (whoever he is).
Macrobert Arts Centre Stirling Fri Nov 24- Sun Dec 31