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McKellen plays Mother Goose herself, and joining him is comedian John Bishop as Vic Goose and reality TV regular Mel Giedroyc as the Goose. Written by Coronation Street's Jonathan Harvey, the story has been reset in an abandoned Debenhams department store, where Mother Goose (McKellen) and her husband Vic (Bishop) are animal lovers running a sanctuary for waifs and strays. But when a goose (Giedroyc) flies in, the prospect of fame and fortune threatens to get the better of their altruistic ways. An all-singing, all-dancing, unashamedly silly affair, it promises tap-dancing puppets, fairies and ladles of family-friendly humour.
Mother Goose is being directed by Cal McCrystal, with set and costume design by Liz Ascroft. Its run coincides with Hackney Empire staging its own take on the panto, with seasoned dame Clive Rowe returning to play Mother Goose.
If there's one thing the great shakeup of theatre programming caused by the pandemic has taught us, it's that pantomimes can be just as much fun in spring, summer and autumn – so long as you don't overdo the Christmas references. As such, Mother Goose is touring all the way through until Easter next year, calling in at Theatre Royal Brighton (3 – 11 December), Chichester Festival Theatre (7 – 11 February 2023), Sheffield Lyceum (14 – 18 February 2023), Wolverhampton Grand (22 – 26 February 2023), Liverpool Empire (28 February – 4 March 2023), Oxford New Theatre (7 – 11 March 2023), Bord Gais Energy Theatre Dublin (22 – 26 March 2023), and Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff (28 March – 1 April 2023), with further dates promised soon.
Londoners will want to catch Mother Goose at the Duke of York's Theatre, where it's running across the festival season, from 15 December - 29 January. CLICK HERE TO BOOK.
|What||Ian McKellen in Mother Goose, Duke of York's Theatre|
|Where||Duke of York's Theatre, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4BG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
15 Dec 22 – 29 Jan 23, Performance start times vary depending on date
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|