PINOCCHIO, THE PAVILION GLASGOW
OFPANTS, the official panto watchdog,would like to reassure any parents of a nervous –oh, all
Right, overly-PC- disposition. Janette Krankie does not do anything with that famously extending nose that your kids wouldn’t want to do with it themselves.And when it grows’n’grows’n’grows- which does rather magnificently-her wide-eyed Pinocchio gleefully makes it wiggle and wave, has it nod in the direction of a saucy innuendos without spoiling the joke by rendering it too verbly explicit. But then as Ofpants never tires of telling me,
Janette Krankie is a class act who is absolutely in her element in Pav panto. She last did Pinocchio here in 1998, with Ian Krankie, then as now, serving up prime Parma ham as Italian puppet-maker Geppetto. It’s a much much better looking show this time round, tho Collodi’s original story still stays mainly in the wings while the Blue Fairy ( Alison Douglas) Wheechs into action on roller skates, Jimminy Christian (Chris McClure) signs on as Pinocchio’s singalong conscience, and his best friend Lampwick (Gary Hollywood) decides he’s old enough to sweep the fairy off her wheels.
Its all genial, generous-hearted stuff liberally interspersed with quality covers of this year’s hit numbers, while Sheridian Nicol has, as ever, an inventive touch with the dance routines.
But the best and most irresistible fun still has the Krankie lable on it, whether she’s winding him up something rotten or he’s yo-yo-ing her on and off his knee in their evergreen ventriloquist act. “ She nose,you know” chortled Ofpants, misusing another outstanding
Comedienne’s catch – phrase. She does indeed
Kenneth Speirs Mail on Sunday Theatre critic
Pavilion Theatre Glasgow
Bright, sparkly, slightly coarse and appealing to the widest possible audience, Pinocchio is the sort of show the Pavilion was made for. And oh, yes – it stars The Krankies. Husband and wife team Ian and Janette Tough are still going strong, living proof that variety is not dead.
The Pinocchio story really has little to do with what you get here. As with all Panto’s , its merely the thinnest of threads running through a series of sketches and jokes that are rude, crude… and usually very funny. Janette / Jimmy plays the title role, while Ian takes on the part of puppet maker Geppetto in very West of Scotland, Italian ice-a-da-cream-a style.The spirit of Jimmy shines through, as Pinocchio gets naughtier than Disney would have ever allowed.The character’s famous growing nose takes on a life of its own here, and there are plenty of opportunity for humour that may or may not be lost on younger members of the audience. But it was all good clean dirty fun, and the crowd loved it.
Like all great double acts,the Krankies each seem to know what the other one is thinking, even when it comes to ad libs. One seemingly off-the-cuff line leads to another and, before we know it, they’re off into the comic stratosphere. At the end they reappeared as we know and love them. Janette-in shorts, blazer and cap- was in full Jimmy mode, getting naughtier and naughtier with a series of lavatorial jokes only school-boys know how to deliver.Then came the piece de resistance that was both fabulously funny and brilliantly executed. Up Jimmy jumped on to Ian’s lap to become a bog-eyed, arms flailing ventriloquist’s dummy. Every move was clearly very carefully rehearsed, but it came across as seamless comedy.
Janette and Ian were in full frantic flow and it was heaven. A nose for laughs?The Krankies have a heaven scent ability to sniff out comedy