Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cinders, you SHALL go to the ball

Last Sunday, I went to a gay pantomime organised by gay running group Frontrunners.

Rather late in the day, some of you might say, for a panto! True enough...the show originally ran at
The Two Brewers in Clapham and was such a hit that a further showing at The Black Cap in Camden was required. Which is where I was on Sunday.

Although it gets mocked a bit, I like the Black Cap and when I lived in North London it was my local gay bar/club (journey-wise it was about a half hour bus ride from home, but in London terms that still qualifies as a "local"). Now I'm a Saaaarth Londoner, the Two Brewers has become my local. Both places have a similar atmosphere and crowd - having neither the ultra-posey, label-obsessed, up-itself ambience of certain Soho bars, nor the naff, provincial tawdriness of some gay pubs you encounter in the fringes/suburbs. Instead they occupy a perfect middle ground where the punters are relatively friendly, the music is good and a fun, unpretentious night out is the guiding principle.

Anyways, what of the panto itself? It was a gay variation on Cinderella - "Cinders and the Panto Pride Run". Cinders himself was a rather handsome young man, a servant boy working at Chainup Hall, who falls for the golden boy of British athletics, Casey McPacey. However, the nasty Baron Chainup and his even nastier drag queen daughters, Nicole Ferrari and Colleen Corvette, have other plans and the drag queens set their sights on winning Casey...Dig all the names, eh?

As "Cinders" was performed by a gay running group they naturally managed to squeeze in (so to speak) lots of references to running and athletics, not to mention plenty of filthy humour and double entendres as you would expect (unfortunately I have forgotten most of it - DRAT! - should have had my pen and paper at the ready). The cast was virtually all male apart from one lady who played a character called Miranda Moneygrabber. She was decidedly dykey anyhow. The drag queen ugly sisters were hilarious and tres bitchy and Baron Chainup very blond and Germanic. His outfits left very little to the imagination. Cinders himself was a good looking fella (as the lead boy should be) and in one scene stripped down to his underpants, which was rather yummy. And oh my, I'm forgetting Buttons! As in the "straight" Cinderella, he was the nice guy with a bit of a thing for Cinders who sadly gets left on the shelf (I actually thought he was better looking than Casey McPacey - is there no justice in the world?) And last but not least, the Fairy Godfather, resplendent in a leotard, fairy wings and bucket loads of glitter.

My only real gripe with the show was the acoustics - rubbish! There was no sound system in the club and none of the actors were miked up so it was sometimes quite hard to make out what was being said. It didn't help that there were people at the back of the bar yapping away. How rude! They should have been barred! Fortunately we were stood close to the stage so could just about make out all the comings
and goings.

And in the classic panto tradition, we also got the requisite audience participation song at the end, in this case "Do Re Mi". Very camp. My friend actually got pulled onto the stage to help out with the actions and did a great job (he's a part time actor hence a bit of a natural). The audience were split into two competing groups with each side taking turns to sing the song. Unfortunately when it got to my "group" the other side decided to boo and hiss over the top of us, drowning out our sterling efforts. Unsporting gits!! However the judges gave us the benefit of the doubt and disqualified the other side, making us the unanimous winners. Yaaaay! My friend got handed a large box of chocolates as a prize which we scoffed on the train home. To the victor go the spoils...


  • At 1:30 am , Blogger matty said...

    Oh, that sounds fun!!!! I would enjoy that!!! I was thinking that a "panto" was a pantomime. ...what does "panto" mean?!?!?

    Nothing that exciting going on here.

    Tho, I saw a crazy old man try to piss on this scary prostitute. She totally went off on him. Both funny and tragic. One never knows what one might find in the tenderloin.

  • At 7:08 am , Blogger Steve said...

    Sounds a darn sight more fun that the pubs around here...!

  • At 11:28 am , Blogger Minge said...

    Oh, honey, what a hoot!

    You're lucky having so much on your doorstep.

  • At 1:09 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Pantomime = a form of theatrical spectacle common in England during the Christmas season, generally adapted from a fairy tale and including stock character types who perform songs and dances, tell jokes, etc.

    So there you go! To add to that definition, I should add that panto is usually aimed at children (apart from gay versions, perhaps!)And panto does seem to be purely endemic to the UK - a Brit tradition! When I told my hubbie about it he'd never heard of it- they certainly don't have anything like that in Brazil! Shame!

    And Matty, I think that kind of thing would be a touch...strong...in a panto. I mean they do usually involve slapstick and people making fools of themselves but that's WAY too sordid! And not one for the kiddies. No room for golden showers scenes in "Cinderella" I'm afraid (well unless it's the X-rated homo version).

    Steve - so is Leamington Spa that dull? Get yourself to the Black Cap, pronto! Your girlfriend might be a bit suspicious though.

    Minge - it's true. But when you say "doorstep" it actually involved a 45-50 minute tube ride for me. That's the equivalent of halfway from London to York on GNER! Still one must put up with these things sometimes...

  • At 4:57 pm , Blogger matty said...

    LOL! No, I wouldn't think one would want to see a panto of crack ho's and crazy homeless dudes. I was just sharing my bit of excitement as I've not seen any shows as of late.

    ...pantomime here is when men wear spandex, paint their faces white, do not speak and pretend to be stuck in boxes. ...sadly, they tend to get beat up a lot. Or, maybe it is spelled a different way. This art form was much more popular when i was kid. Mimes are not very well respected or tolerated in the US. Not sure why. Maybe it is that box thing.


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