Back once again to Wholand - sorry, Cardiff. It's so handy having this SF TV mecca right on our doorstep; perhaps this is what it would've been like to live near Wookey Hole Caves in the 1970s? This time we were in the New Theatre - which just two short years ago saw Christopher Eccleston and Charles Dickens facing off against a Victorian zombie - to see John Barrowman in Jack and the Beanstalk. He's certainly flavour of the month.
Now, I'm no connoisseur of pantomime. For the Lovely Jo it used to be an annual event, apparently. I on the other hand have seen two pantomimes, and this was the second. As far as I can tell it's a form of theatre where the audience wants to see the actors get it wrong; there's also a lot of audience participation, but it's all led by the actors, and they don't seem to like the audience providing ad lib responses. It's not Rocky Horror.
Two notable things about our afternoon, neither of them to do with the show itself:
1. In the foyer, kiddies were being sold various items of panto merchandise, including a short red plastic sword with flashing lights in it. However, there were also two flashing lights in the red plastic hilt, on either side of the handguard. In short, it looked like a big flashing... cock-up on the part of the designers.
2. What was being piped into the auditorium over the PA system before the show started? It seemed to be some sort of dance music. (Not the good sort of dance music, by which I mean interesting electronic music that gets filed under "Dance" in the shops; no, this was the bad sort of dance music, which consists of very loud thumping in one continuous tempo and the occasional sound like a machine gun going off.) But what words were being sung over it? It took our friend Sarah to identify it - songs from the Disney movies, re-recorded nightclub style. Disney rave. File under "Ministry of Unsound".