Review: John Barrowman, The Playhouse
John Barrowman, **** The Playhouse
John Barrowman. Who? Well, more Torchwood really. And most of Saturday night BBC primetime. And, yes, the odd adventure with the good Doctor himself. If you haven't heard of Barrowman, then you will certainly know his clean cut, all American apple pie smile. Unless you've come from Alpha Centauri that is.
Yet behind the drawl that's currently making its debut over the pond in Desperate Housewives is the wee Glasgow boy who upped sticks aged eight for better things with his parents. And it's that inner little boy who makes the biggest impression, scampering out for a giggle with the audience at every opportunity.
Even bringing his proud parents along, who have danced their way from a first date at the Denny Pally as teenagers all the way to centre stage at the Playhouse as part of their 40 something son's show. In the most poignant and moving part of Barrowman's last night on tour, he serenaded his parents with Alan Jackson's Remember When while they waltzed.
Supporting Barrowman, Jodie Prenger of BBC talent search I'd Do Anything put in a dazzling performance. Singing only fives songs, one of them a duet of Enchanted favourite So Close, Prenger's energetic delivery, saucy stand up and spellbinding voice was a revelation. While elements of the evening were obviously very staged, and occasionally over rehearsed, the genuine affection between Barrowman and Prenger gave their raucous interactions beguiling warmth.
Judging by the audience's enthusiastic reception as Barrowman arrived on stage last night, however, it's a warmth that he willingly shares with his fans too. Staging the evening as a revue of his life and family, the actor created an astonishingly intimate atmosphere with pictures from his family photo albums and stories of adventures with friends and family.
Displaying a distinct lack of "starryness", Barrowman regaled the audience with cheeky back stage anecdotes and thanked them for making the effort to buy tickets for his show even in tough times.
Singing an eclectic mix of Broadway show tunes, 70s classics and modern pop, the star did what he could to please as wide an audience as possible. Barrowman seems to be a man that it's well worth finding out a little more about.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
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Temperature: 8 C to 18 C
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