‘The show needs stopping’ says parent furious at Dick (Whittington)

Jess Glass December 13, 2017
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A parent has complained after a pantomime starring John Barrowman was full of ‘adult content’ and suggestive humour that she says ruined her family’s night.

Last week, Natalie Wood took her two children, ages 11 and 12, to see the performance of ‘Dick Whittington’ at the Manchester Opera House.

The performance stars John Barrowman, a seasoned theatre actor and Doctor Who star who has been well recognised for his dramatic ability both on screen and on the pantomime stage.

However, it’s clear that not everyone is a fan of Barrowman’s whimsy.

In an email seen by Manchester Evening News, Wood clearly showed her fury at the performance in a complaint to the theatre.

She said: “Our family is disgusted with this production. It has ruined our annual Christmas panto outing and left us feeling uncomfortable and concerned about what the children were exposed to.”

‘The show needs stopping’ says parent furious at Dick (Whittington)
(Photo: Manchester Opera House)

“We are far from prudes, but there has to be boundaries where children are concerned.”

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She added: “I have never been a pantomime where I felt so uncomfortable. The whole show was very sexualised.”

“John Barrowman sat Jimmy Krankie on his knee and started fondling her breasts. He then takes his hands off and she puts them back on again as if to say ‘I was enjoying that’.”

As well as Wood and her two children, she had also purchased tickets for her sister, sister-in law and their children aged between three and seven.

In the email, Wood said that her children had started imitating the ‘crude’ performance. She said: “My children were repeating Alice loves Dick and sticking their fingers out of their trousers for a pretend penis.

“This is not acceptable and my children required far too much explaining about adult humor for a family show.”

“Who is responsible for adult content in a child’s performance? The show needs stopping.”

‘The show needs stopping’ says parent furious at Dick (Whittington)
The Manchester Opera House (Photo: Creative Commons)

In a response, a spokesperson for Qdos Entertainment and Manchester Opera House were insistent that the pantomime does remain family friendly, and that some suggestive humour was a traditional feature of a panto.

The spokesperson said: “In keeping with the tradition of pantomime, the script does make use of double entendre and part of that is a play on the names of the characters.

“None of the humor within the show is intended to cause offense of any kind and the enjoyment of our audiences is always paramount.”

They continue: “We value all feedback we receive and the Qdos creative team regularly review all comments in order to inform the development of our shows, both currently on stage and scripts for the future.

More: dick whittington, john barrowman, LGBT, Manchester, pantomime, Theatre

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