Pantomime returns to the Theatre Royal (with acting legend set for starring role)

John Bishop, Mel Giedroyc and Ian McKellen at the launch of Mother Goose in London
John Bishop, Mel Giedroyc and Ian McKellen at the launch of Mother Goose in London

ONE of the UK’s greatest stage and screen actors is set to star in an "egg-citing" new pantomime, which is opening in Brighton.

Sir Ian McKellen will bring Mother Goose to the Theatre Royal Brighton in time for Christmas.

The award-winning actor will take the role of the production’s namesake, Mother Goose, while comedian John Bishop will play Vic Goose and actress and TV presenter Mel Giedroyc will play the Goose.

Theatre Royal has not held a production of this kind since 2014.

The show will run in the city from Saturday, December 3 to Sunday, December 11, before it heads for the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, Liverpool Empire and New Theatre Oxford.

McKellen’s last pantomime outing was at the Old Vic, where he played Widow Twankey in Alladin.

The actor, best known for his Shakespearean performances and his role as Gandalf in Lord of The Rings, announced the news in London in front of a giant golden egg.

“Panto belongs to us. Nowhere else in the world has this tradition,” he said.

Written by Jonathan Harvey (Coronation Street, Gimme Gimme Gimme) and directed by award-winning director Cal McCrystal, the production sees feathers ruffled when Goose flies into the animal sanctuary run by Mother Goose and her husband Vic inside an abandoned Debenhams.