Thursday, November 26, 2009

You Look Just Like Your Brother in Drag!

"Is that supposed to be a compliment!?!" Carole Barrowman, sister of John Barrowman, the infamous Captain Jack, quipped last Wednesday night at her book signing at Boswell Books in Milwaukee. Carole was promoting I Am What I Am, the follow up to the successful biography of her brother she co-wrote with him which came out last year. Now of course there are those people who went to see her just because of her relation to John (yes, this means you weird lady on the futon who spent the hour before the talk sorting your pictures of Ianto and Jack while dicussing the week you saw all seven performances of La Cage)... and I won't say that I'm not guilty of the odd hope that for no reason whatsoever, John would accompany his sister to the signing... but the fact is she doesn't need her brother. I was lucky enough to see her speak last year and I have to say, she didn't disappoint this time either. She's witty, self deprectaing, energetic and knows how to work and interact with a crowd. Her reminiscences and stories are lively and humorous, the fact that they contain John Barrowman is just an added bonus, because these stories would be captivating even sans Captain Jack. She did a little storytelling, a little reading, and of course just the tiniest hint of spoiling with regard to Doctor Who and Torchwood. Because as she said "I know all the secrets of the next season of Torchwood." Followed after a beat, wherein the small child who I think is too young to be watching the show held his breath, by saying: "I'm so lying."

Carole said the reason for a second book, delivered 3 weeks before the book was due in stores (apparently following John around doesn't work any better than emailing him for getting him to keep deadlines) was that readers felt they got the grand sweep of John's life in the previous volume, but they wanted the details, the rants and opinions that John has no qualms in sharing. The paperback will even contain another chapter just devoted to the backstage antics of John's current run in the West End in La Cage Aux Folles as Albin. She went on to say the perks of being related to John is all the famous people she's met, from Whoopi Goldberg to Liza Minnelli. I personally was impressed that she got to meet Dawn French. Of course the down side is, with having to accompany him to all these events, she gets stuck with the people he doesn't want to talk to. One such lady was a stately grand dame at this gorgeous family seat where a fete was happening for a local school. Carole was placed next to this old lady and as she said, she understood maybe 3 words the lady said all night, and she was talking constantly. She thinks the words were: "Charming, Triffle and Sausage." But she amended: "Ok, not Sausage, I just wanted to say that." It later transpired that not only does this old lady have her own bodyguard who acts as her interpreter (as Carole said, "you think they could have told me about him before the meal!") but she's quite literally the BFF of Queen Elizabeth! She also gave Carole a tour of the house, which included a stop to the bathroom, where Carole said, she didn't know what was going on with this old lady telling her to sit on the toilet... it transpires that there's an original Constable etching on the wall opposite the toilet. As Carole said, "We don't have room for towels in my bathroom and they have a Constable!"

She went on to recount her families recent outing on the British version of Family Feud, All Star Family Fortunes, which they bitterly lost because of not knowing that the number one word for an attractive man is "Fit." Of course she said she thinks it was rigged, they polled 100 taxi drivers and what do they know about attractive men? Afterwards to ease the disappointment of loss John suggested stealing all the hangers in the green room, which they did. She then went on to recount a chapter in the book dealing with the kids show John hosts where they went to a zoo. A zoo run by Cybil and Basil Fawlty, where they could not tell who had it worse, the animals or the children who were staying there for their holidays. While she couldn't disclose the zoo for legal reasons I think it sounds suspiciously like the zoo from that one episode of Top Gear where the lions tried to destroy the convertible.

To conclude she gave us two little spoilers... Torchwood Four looks like it will eventually happen when time clears in Russell's, Julie's and John's respective schedules. But more importantly in my mind... Captain Jack will be there to say good bye to the 10th Doctor, but more intriguingly... he's working with the new Doctor! John had dinner with Matt and he said it felt like he was cheating on David. So it looks like perhaps Captain Jack will be on our screens in the near future... if there was one person who could bring Jack back to earth after season three of Torchwood, it's The Doctor!

After the talk she did a book signing, where my brother and I were second in line. She was very gracious and thanked us for coming to see "Just Her!" Also she asked where we came from and we said we drove over from Madison, turns out she'll be having a signing here in the not too distant future for the book Chicks Dig Time Lords, which she contributed too. Yeah! I don't have to drive to Milwaukee in the fog and in the rain... but you know what? It was worth it! She doesn't need Captain Jack. In fact, I think it would be pretty damn awesome to have her as a teacher.

Also for those who I know need it after the reference above, her's the Barrowman clan on Family Fortunes... (Sorry part 1 wasn't on YouTube, but I found it anyway!)


I'm so happy I could kiss you. I'd disparred of ever finding a downloadable version of part 1 of Family Fortunes. Thank you thank you thank you.

Glad to be of service!

Nice post. Thank you for the Dr Who tid-bits. I am not looking forward to a new doctor but at least I know Jack will be there. If I were 10 years younger, I would have a serious crush on John. Sigh...

Thanks for the recap! Definitely keep us posted on when she heads to Madison. I will be there!!!

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