The Herald Magazine - - FIRST UP - J O H N N Y MAC

au­di­ence if we per­formed as Francie and Josie. Mary Lee, Jack’s widow, was in the au­di­ence and af­ter­wards she told us it was fan­tas­tic and we should take it on tour.

The show has gone down well with young and old. The older peo­ple re­mem­ber the orig­i­nal duo and with our ca­reers in panto we bring a younger au­di­ence as well.

The wigs and suits are just like Jack and Rikki’s and it helps that Liam and I are of a sim­i­lar build to them.

Francie and Josie were time­less com­edy. They were never smutty. Their word play, which was writ­ten by Rikki, is su­perb. In a live sit­u­a­tion we’re hop­ing to take the more se­nior au­di­ence mem­bers down mem­ory lane. You can feel the warmth ra­di­at­ing from them be­fore we’ve even opened our mouths. Peo­ple who saw them or worked with them have told us how much they ap­pre­ci­ate what we’re do­ing. Mary Lee said it’s as close to the orig­i­nals as you can get, and that was amaz­ing to hear.

I grew up with Francie and Josie. When my gran came to live with us I would play her tapes of them and re-en­act the rou­tines. And I was lucky enough to see them play the Glas­gow Gar­den Fes­ti­val in 1988.

Liam and I would love to do Francie and Josie on tele­vi­sion. The tours we have done across Scot­land have been to packed the­atres, and there’s def­i­nitely an au­di­ence for it.

Jack and Rikki, of course, are no longer with us; Jack passed away in 2001 and Rikki three years later. To be able to do Francie and Josie’s gal­lus walk, or the “Are ye dancin’? Are ye askin’?” sketch for two hours is a real hon­our. It doesn’t feel like work when you are do­ing that sort of show. The re­hearsals are where the hard work is, but when you’re on the stage you feel a sense of re­spons­bil­ity to get it right.

In the show’s sec­ond half I also

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