How wonderful is it to see Sir Ian McKellen, at the age of 83, wearing frocks and hamming it up, in all his glory, on the place where he belongs, the stage, where he’s now in a production of ‘Mother Goose.’
Yes ‘Mother Goose’, which had its premier at Brighton’s Theatre Royal, is panto, but this one is extra special because of McKellen. He’s such a joy to watch, and he delivers every line perfectly, hilariously, deliciously, caked in full makeup while wearing over the top frocks as he plays the title role – Mother Goose. And as a bonus we are treated to famous comedian John Bishop as husband Vic Goose. And the two are just perfect together.
Mrs. and Mr. Goose don’t have a whole lot of money and live a meagerly existence in Debenhams along with their coterie of animals (monkey, goat, bear, tortoise, penguin, bat, puss, cricket). But it gets worse when the energy company (the energy company!) demands more money so the Gooses are in a pickle – what do they do? Their adult son Jack (Oscar Conlon-Morrey) can’t do much as he’s not the brightest lightbulb in the room. But to the Gooses luck Cilla Quack (Anna-Jane Casey – who is superb and brings down the house with her number ‘Don’t Rain on my Parade’) lays golden eggs which changes the Gooses’ lives immensely. But Mother Goose wants more, more, she wants to be famous, so she makes a deal with wicked witch Malignia (Karen Mavundukure) in exchange for Cilla Quack. Mother Goose gets her wish and attends the Oscars, the World Cup and fashion shows, but her family misses her so much, and Cilla is locked behind bars in the Kings castle. What’s Mother Goose going to do – she has everything she wished for, but it’s at the detriment to her family.
Written by Jonathan Harvey and directed by award-winning director Cal McCrystal, ‘Mother Goose’ is not just another panto (he’s behind you!), it’s the only panto that has Ian McKellen – a living legend, who after all these years in show business (television, movies, much theatre) has still got it. Yes you read that right – Ian McKellen is better than ever, so get tickets now as this production will be touring England until at least April 2023.
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Set and Costume design is by Liz Ascroft, Choreography by Lizzi Gee.
‘Mother Goose’ is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Hunter Arnold, Seaview, Wessex Grove, Richard Winkler & Dawn Smalberg, Caiola Productions and George Waud for Groove International.
For information on tickets, and to find out which cities ‘Mother Goose’ will be in, please click below. ‘Mother Goose’ is touring until April 1, 2023.