Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Telegraph: Joan Collins puts on the glitz for her panto debut

Dick Whittington, Birmingham Hippodrome, review

If you’re going to make your panto debut at the age of 77, you might as well do so stepping out from a giant rotating glitter ball, surrounded by scantily-clad performers and accompanied by a flourish of the theme tune from the Eighties American soap that made you an international star.
Joan Collins always had style, and, as Alexis Colby in Dynasty, became such a byword for bitchiness that she acquired the status of a gay icon. Her participation in Britain’s annual outbreak of arch villainy, kitsch decor and outlandish dressing-up must be counted long overdue.
Cracking her tail like a dominatrix’s whip, cavorting on stiletto heels in a silver-lined bodice, and generally looking a million dollars – and half her age – Collins is on hand to hog the limelight as Queen Rat in Dick Whittington at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Almost!
They pride themselves on doing things bigger, better and brasher at the Hippo, and, in a stroke of casting that verges on the over-zealous, they’ve hired self-styled “Lord of the Mince” Julian Clary to play the Spirit of the Bells.
Clary, you may recall, started out his comedy career with the Joan Collins Fan Club, but there’s nothing approaching fan-like subservience in the role as he plays it. Here you get two attention-seeking queens for the price of one.

No comments: