GREG Barrowman is all smiles. Back at the King’s Theatre for his second panto season alongside regulars Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott, he can’t hide his delight at being asked to play Prince Hamish of Holyrood in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
“It’s a pleasure to have been invited back and I’m loving it again,” says the 22-year-old, who played Aladdin at the venue last year.
“From the first days of rehearsals I realised that everything has stepped up a notch from Aladdin.”
While the boy with the magic lamp might have introduced Barrowman to Capital audiences, he is no stranger to the world of panto. Before moving east he understudied his second cousin, Torchwood and Doctor Who star John Barrowman, at Glasgow’s SECC.
And no one is more proud of the London-based actor than his family.
“It’s been a bit of a hard year for me,” he reveals. “My dad got cancer, thankfully he had an operation and fully recovered and is now fighting fit, which is a huge relief.
“He was at opening night, and then came back again with my grandparents, but my mother and dad always come to see me about six or seven times. I can’t stop them.”
His No 1 fans then?
“My mother is my No 1 fan and my dad is a close second. That’s the way I have to spin it otherwise my mother will kill me,” he laughs.
“But they are my benchmark, and the foundations of everything I do. They are fully supportive, which is fantastic for me.”
This year, as Prince Hamish, Barrowman also gets to try his hand at a bit of comedy, including one particularly close encounter with Grant Stott’s Queen Sadista in a hilarious parody of the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hit Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.
“It feels good this year to be doing a little bit of comedy... even getting my head pressed into Grant’s bosom. That wasn’t actually in the original choreography, it happened on the first night and just sort of stuck because it got a massive reaction from the crowd.”
He continues, “It’s been really interesting watching the show go from rehearsals to opening night. It’s constantly changing. That’s the thing I love about pantomime, no two shows are the same. You are constantly kept on your toes.”
Barrowman certainly is. As well as singing the obligatory love duets with Snow White, fighting (and defeating) a giant dinosaur and being chased by the Amazonian Queen Sadista, he also comes into his own in a hilarious rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas.
“It’s great to be doing a little bit of everything. From the minute the dwarfs come on at the start it’s like my body is electric and I just give it my all. The excitement of the show gets me through.”
With 83 performance, Barrowman will need all the energy he can muster, and admits he’d love to be back for a third year.
“Michael Harrison, executive producer for Qdos who produce the show, has shown a lot of trust in me bringing me from Glasgow to Edinburgh. It’s a promotion in a sense and I like to think I’m a good foil for the three main guys.
“Whether I’m back, well that’s up to him and Allan, Andy and Grant. I love doing the King’s panto because if I’m going to do panto I always like to be doing it in Scotland. So I’d love to be back.”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, until 17 January 2016, various times, £14-£31, 0131-529 6000