Acting legend talks Brighton and which end of a pantomime cow he would rather be
An acting legend has reflected on his standout memories of Brighton ahead of his new pantomime opening in the city - and which end of a pantomime cow he would rather be.
Sir Ian McKellen and John Bishop will star in Mother Goose, which will open at Theatre Royal Brighton on December 3.
The production announcement was made in London earlier this month and saw Sir Ian emerge from a giant golden egg.
Read more: Pantomime returns to the Theatre Royal (with acting legend set for starring role)
The award-winning actor will take the role of Mother Goose, while comedian John Bishop will play Vic Goose.
Yesterday Mel Giedroyc, who was set to play the role of the goose, announced her withdrawal from the production due to 'personal reasons'.
Sir Ian described the Brighton theatre as “iconic” and is considering a walk down to the pier.
Mel, before her announcement, said she and comedy partner Sue Perkins had “the best times” in Brighton.
“Theatre Royal Brighton is one of the iconic theatres, because being close to London it was often used for pre-London tours, so if you were living in Brighton you could see every decent London show before it arrived in London,” said Sir Ian.
“Before the critics got close to it. I saw Marlene Dietrich at Theatre Royal Brighton. And of course the connection with Laurence Olivier having lived down in Brighton and many other theatre people.”
“I love Brighton, Sue and I had the best times in Brighton,” said Mel.
“I have a lot of friends in Lewes and Brighton. I just love it, what an amazing place. I love the Downs.
“We came to Theatre Royal Brighton with Eurobeat - The Eurovision Show in 2008, a musical comedy and we had the best week of our lives. It was brilliant and I stayed with this absolutely wonderful woman, Zeta her name was.”
The cast was also quizzed by a Brighton resident about which end of the pantomime cow they would rather be.
Sir Ian and John went for the front, while Mel opted for the back.
“I’d rather be at the back, is that weird?” she said.
“Because I tell you what, then you get to operate the comedy tail.”
The trio said they cannot wait for the show to open in Brighton.
“When there’s a big house laugh in Theatre Royal Brighton, you think the roof is going to come off because it's so concentrated,” said Sir Ian.
“We are so looking forward to doing the show, but also to premiering it in Brighton, and being in Brighton for two weeks,” said Mel.
“I can’t wait for it because I’ve never done that venue before,” said John.