It’s panto season again, and for some peculiar reason old Hollywood stars seem to be joining the casts of shows. We’ve already had Pamela Anderson in Aladdin at Wimbledon, and now Mickey Rooney, soon to be 90, is back for a second season as Baron Hardup in Cinderella, singing and telling jokes that must mystify him. “Hello England,” he calls out. “I’m so happy to be here. At my age I’m happy to be anywhere.”
According to The Times, Rooney looks a little bewildered, as well he might, given the references to everything from Katie Price (a model) to the MK Dons (Milton Keynes’ local team) to feet that it’s claimed wouldn’t get into the Crystal Palace, let alone a crystal slipper. But his bafflement suits the plot as much as his lack of inches. The two Ugly Sisters, Whitney and Britney, have no trouble dominating him. And Rooney’s Hardup sings upbeat songs and joins in the repartee as slickly as anyone: “May I take your daughter’s hand in marriage?” “Why don’t you take the whole thing?” Bless.