Pantomime starring Krankies and John Barrowman branded “too risqué”

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A Scots pantomime starring Torchwood actor John Barrowman alongside The Krankies has been branded “too risqué” for a family audience.

The annual SECC show in Glasgow will return for a fourth time this Christmas, and regularly plays to sold out auditoriums.

But critics have accused the Qdos pantomime of being too “blue” for its younger viewers, with some teachers claiming to be uncomfortable at the shows more adult material.

Alfie gave John Barrowman helping hand at book launch in Glasgow
John Barrowman stars in the annual SECC panto

The SECC, that charged between £12.00 – £27.50 for panto tickets last year, has defended the pantomime’s content, arguing that the show has to appeal to both children and adults.

Iain Gordon, General Manager of rival Glasgow theatre, The Pavilion, said: “We’ve had a lot of feedback from schools and general customers about how blue John Barrowman was and the number of gay references he made.

“We’ve taken at least ten schools from the SECC due to teachers saying they weren’t comfortable with the kids hearing the material.”

Mr Gordon said the King’s Theatre in Glasgow could also overstep the mark.

He said: “The King’s has maybe been a bit guilty with Karen Dunbar, but not to the extent of the SECC.

“I don’t blame The Krankies – I think they’re just following Barrowman’s lead. There’s a time and a place for being risqué and blue, and panto is not that place.

“I decided I was going to write to people and tell them they could feel safe coming to the Pavilion in the knowledge it would be completely child-friendly and squeaky clean while still being funny.”

Mr Gordon sent a letter to Pavilion customers last week claiming that recent Christmas shows in Glasgow had not been suitable for families due to offensive material.

Glasgow has three big annual shows vying for an audience every year, The Pavilion, King’s Theatre and SECC.

Allan Sneddon, head of concert and event sales at the SECC defended its annual Christmas show.

He said: “We’ve been privileged to welcome the Qdos pantomime to the Clyde Auditorium for the past three years and have received excellent feedback from all ages each time.

“The city plays host to a variety of pantomimes and as a family show we provide entertainment to suit both children and adults. This, plus the fact we have multiple sell-out shows year on year, speaks for itself.

“The cast are loved across Glasgow and, upon announcing the return of Qdos, John Barrowman and The Krankies to the venue, initial interest has been overwhelmingly positive.”

A spokesman for the King’s Theatre, whose pantomime features comedian Karen Dunbar and Still Game star Gavin Mitchell, added: “The King’s has always prided itself on being Scotland’s favourite family-friendly panto and the script is written with the family in mind.

“Its suitable for all ages from two to 102. We focus on topicality, high-quality production values and the traditional elements of panto.”

The Pavilion says their panto, starring Dean Park and Michelle McManus is already up on sales by £35,000 compared to this time last year.