Thursday, 5 January 2012

Alan, keep your post as Dame—but get Frankinstead as baddie

The older I get the more I learn strange lessons and stranger facts. I’m not going to go on about psychoanalysis or some psycho-babble about some of our politicians’ state of mind. Or the state of their mindless idiocy. I’ll leave that to other, more respected, more erudite analysts.

What I am referring to is my lesson in panto. You are not going to see me on stage dressed in sequins and glitz; and you are definitely not allowed to see my legs. They are mine and my intimate ones’ property only. But dare I attack one of our most beloved, most followed, most glamorous, most famous man in Christmas drag?

Alan Montanaro’s dameship is a Maltese icon, a legacy of our country as well known and definitely less reviled than our prime minister. Alan is a man who plays the part of a woman to a tee (or should I say a pea?). If there were panto-Oscars Alan would win pants down. I’m sure even the ones at the other panto production would not despise, or begrudge, this accolade.

So what have I learnt at my creaking old age?

I love panto. I love anything that makes me laugh. I love the colour and the innuendo—and the hilarity of the children is infectious. And when the camp jokes, the sexual jokes and the political jokes just float off the kids’ radar it makes me laugh even wilder. So we, the codgers at the theatre (can that huge hall at the MFCC be called a theatre?) laugh out loud.

Or, as one political guru writing in the august columns of a newspaper, said: LOL. Yes I kid you not—he actually cracked a joke, and said lol. Alan take a cue from this learned doctor who will soon maybe/possibly/probably/definitely be giving advice to Joseph Muscat on how to be prime minister of our land. When you crack a joke for us old- timers, who will miss the modern clue, please lift up a placard with the words: laugh, gentlefolk.

Anyway, so what if I love panto: hordes do. But they don’t brag about it in their blog. Or maybe they do and I’ve missed their blogging? As I was nicely told off when I started blogging—everyone and his dog does it now. So bugger it. But what I have learnt through panto is that Alan is a national institution—he surely deserves that title—and please beware and do not say he is over the top or that he sucks at panto. He doesn’t.But I said he did in a previous blog post ( I also had the audacity to say that Alan should move over and let Franco Debono take centre stage as our best, our most honourable, dame of all.

Alan, lover of fun and sports, posted my piece wherein I asked him to retire, on Facebook (oh Facebook, to thee do we bend low and adore at your honoured, cherished feet). I unleashed an avalanche of boos, jeers and death threats (ok so I exaggerate but seeing as we have just come out of the jolly season I think I am allowed to: double LOL) by his fawning fans and frenzied followers.

Alan solved it all, and the fans, after taking me to some dark, dank dungeon where all baddies are kept, forgave me in true panto style.

Then I reflected and further reflected till I realised I had made a bigger mess in my article asking Alan to move over. Alan, your post is safe: keep it forever more as you make us laugh and forget our worst ills and farces.

But please get rid of your baddie, give Baddafi , or whatever his name is, the chop and put him in a sack to be sent somewhere far, far away. And get Franco Debono with his posturing, his preposterous demands and his silliness to head the baddies of all baddies. Call him Frankinstead or Frankenstein—and keep him chained in a dungeon or turned into brittle stone.

If Dr Franco Debono moves to panto as the baddie, my life will be spared, Alan keeps his tiara and our politics will get back to their normal level of boringly manageable mediocrity.

And if you want to be nice to yourself and have never been to a panto, with or without Alan, make sure you book one of the two productions this coming December. Or go to both and get a double treat. And like chocolates and panettone they are super-sweet but won’t add to your flab.

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