On Friday 15 November our favourite lay over Pam Ann is touching down at The Troxy in East London with her new show Pam Ann Returns. Dave Cross had a pan European catch up with Pam’s alter ego Caroline Reid to discuss the new show and why she has more in common with Mary Poppins than you might think.
Hey Caroline, where are you now?
Right now I’m in a cab in Milan. I’m here to do more filming for Air Italia.
What are you filming?
You’re not going to believe this, a safety film… I know right, me, an actual airline safety film, it’s insane.
What can we expect in your show Pam Ann Returns at The Troxy?
It’s a proper full on show. I’ve got brand new Mary Poppins videos, new songs and costumes, the trolly improvisation and everything else. It’s been a while since I’ve done a show like this, on a big stage in London. It’s quite difficult for me to talk about the actual content of the show, because if something big happens, especially in the airline industry, that can change everything. Sometimes I decide five minutes before I go on what I’m going to say, and then it all changes anyway.
If I had to pick a character for Pam Ann to play, Mary Poppins wouldn’t first spring to mind…
I don’t know, dragging ungrateful kids to meet bizarre people is quite Pam Ann and in the books, Mary Poppins was a total bitch. Actually I sympathise with PL Travis, who wrote the books. She struggled for years to resist Walt Disney who wanted to sanitise the character. I’ve had the same with Pam Ann, people wanting to make her more family friendly. Someone actually suggested once that someone else could play her, I’d just write the lines… I mean seriously, just fuck off.
We live in dark times, with Trump and Brexit, does that make it harder or easier to come up with material that’s funny?
I don’t really dip in to the politics stuff that much. I mean I do sometimes, but I need to be able to see the humour in it, which I can in the airline stuff and things like the Royal Family. I went to see J-Lo recently and she is the perfect example of ‘staying in your lane’. Everything she does, the songs, the look, the outfits, the chandelier on stage, it’s all so on brand, all screaming ‘J-Lo’ and that’s why she’s lasted. I think people want to get away from the politics, and the airline stuff does that, that’s my lane.
Finally, you live in the States, you’re always on tour, but what does coming back to London mean to you?
London means the best audiences in the world. I did a lot of my learning there, so London also means pain. It reminds me of good fucks and misbehaving, I mean I have so many stories and so many friends there. Like most relationships, it’s been very tough as well as incredible, but it does feel like home, I guess I feel more connected to London than anywhere else, so it will be great to see all you bitches.