Tron Theatre, Glasgow
16 December 2022
For #pantoday I was at the lovely Glasgow Tron Theatre for their annual panto offering. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Johnny McKnight is a genius! Not only did he write and direct this panto but he stars as Dorothy Blawna-Gale.
Johnny is the best panto dame I've ever seen. Not only is he talented and funny in the lead role: He sings, dances and acts his little white frilly socks off - but his banter, or should I say 'roasting' of unfortunate audience members is sublime. This is where Johnny really comes into his own - he never misses an opportunity to call people out for being late, for not joining in the call backs or just generally catching his eye. He gives a masterclass in panto improv.
It's been 3 years since I've seen a Tron panto (the brilliant CinderFella) and nobody does Scottish humour quite like them. None of the other local pantos escape unscathed, and there are plenty of up to date jokes and references. To me this is what makes panto great. The ad-libs are golden and there is a feeling that ANYTHING could happen!
The Tron panto is on the more affordable end of the budget scale and it's all the funnier for being so. The cast work extremely hard and most play multiple roles.
Julie Wilson Nimmo for example is one of Dorothy's kids at the start, good witch Glinda, one of the magnificent crows (Russell and Cheryl!) AND the cowardly lion. Hats off to Julie she did a great job with the quick changes and multiple characters, but she too really shone when engaging with the audience.
The Tron panto, whether meaning to or not, seems to attract a more adult audience. That's not to say it's not kid friendly - it is. But on the Friday evening I was in, there were no kids in the stalls at all and maybe 3 max in the circle. This led to quite the challenge for Julie when the time came to bring a child up on stage! With hilarious consequences.
All the cast do an excellent job here and that also goes for the musicians Ross and Scott who are fully onboard with the theme in their rainbow attire.
Special shout-out to Katie Barnett who was mesmerising as the Wicked Witch. A truly memorable performance!
You will get more story in this panto production than in any other panto, where any attempt at telling the story is normally minimal at best. Here we get the full Wizard of Oz narrative and plenty of cracking original songs to boot!
Highly recommended if you fancy an evening of wicked Scottish comedy and fun.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is playing at Glasgow Tron until 8 January 2023.
📸 Production photos: Eoin Carey
🌈A review of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, panto, pantomime by Johnny McKnight, Tron Theatre Glasgow, December 2022. 🌈
Review first posted on Instagram 20 December 2022.
📧 For media and review requests contact Lisa_InTheTheatre@outlook.com
📸 To see more pictures and videos follow @Lisa_InTheTheatre on Instagram