Monday, 18 July 2011

John Barrowman: "John Barrowman"

There aren't many people you'd see both merrily performing an obscure Texas album track while wearing a navy blue blazer with glittery lapels (Tonight's The Night) and then, a short time after, see the very same person engaging in alien derring-do with guns and drama (Torchwood).

It may sound incomprehensible. It may sound like the stuff of ridicule (err...) but this is, in fact, the force of nature known as "John Barrowman" - he is, in a word, a sort of phenomenon.

Admittedly a modern-day showbiz sort of minor phenomenon - he can act and sing and appear in tv and on the stage and is probably quite good at dancing too, but we don't know for sure.

And, just to be clear, if you Google phenomenon, it is defined thus:

1. A fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, esp. one whose cause is in question.
2. A remarkable person or thing.
Let's ignore definition 1 (is his cause in question? It would be if we questioned it), and focus on 2.
You'll see that "John Barrowman" fits, neatly and perfectly.

We might not like it. We might not want it. But we have to acknowledge, for only then can we begin to heal.
But the thing with this "John Barrowman", is that it's best to take the bits you like, the bits you prefer, and ignore the rest.
We can accept "performers" who are "versatile" and "don't like to be pigeon-holed" but there's something disconcerting, something a bit flippin' mental, about seeing the same man who plays the heroic and tough Captain Jack so well in Torchwood, re-invented as Mr Saturday Night.
There he is, singing his songs and making viewers' dreams come true (as long as those dreams generally involve singing on stage in some way), with no apparent regard for narrow-minded audience members unable to comprehend he's both an actor and a singer and capable of successfully avoiding typecasting to do both.
And now, as both programmes run concurrently -  Torchwood has begun a ten part new series and Tonight's The Night shimmys onwards - one thing is clear.
Readers, we are in for bumpy, confusing times ahead.
Let's be strong for each other.

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