THEATRE REVIEW: Mother Goose starring Sir Ian McKellen & John Bishop

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Sunday 18 December (matinee), runs to 29 January and then tours until 11 March 2023 RUNTIME: 140 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

The best reason to see this energetic and fun pantomime is that its Oscar-nominated star Sir Ian McKellen is having a ball and it’s infectious.

  • Read on for reasons including how we’ve never been to a show where so much has been thrown from the stage into the audience
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for December 2022 starring Paul Mescal in A Streetcar Named Desire

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire directed by Rebecca Frecknall starring Paul Mescal

Frecknall directed Cabaret which still runs at the Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre and whose EmCees have included an Olivier-winning turn from Eddie Redmayne, Fra Fee and Callum Scott Howells. The star of the Tennessee Williams classic she has chosen to follow it up with won a Best TV/Film Actor from us in 2020 for Normal People (pictured above). Streetcar runs at the Almeida 12 December 2022 to 4 February 2023. Tickets Streetcar review Mescal currently stars in film Aftersun Review Note: now opens Saturday 17 December as leading lady Lydia Wilson withdraws for health reasons to be replaced by Olivier winner Patsy Ferran (Camp Siegfried, Old Vic)

  • Read on for reasons including Julian Clary, Sir Ian McKellen and Jack O’Connell
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THEATRE REVIEW: Hamlet starring Sir Ian McKellen at Theatre Royal Windsor

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

RUNTIME: 165 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

WHEN?: Monday 26 July 2021, booking to Saturday 25 September 2021

The concept of age-blind casting can have undergone no truer test than here with the 82-year-old McKellen playing the titular role of a character often thought to have been aged about 30.

  • Read on for reasons including why you shouldn’t choose onstage seating if you see this production in Windsor
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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for July 2021 starring Anything Goes

  1. Anything Goes at the Barbican

Sutton Foster replaces Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) in this revival of the classic Cole Porter musical set on a cruise ship starring also Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal (Lettice and Lovage, Menier) and Gary Wilmot (Pantoland at the Palladium) at the Barbican. Runs 23 July through 17 October. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Carousel, Romeo and Juliet and Sir Ian McKellen’s Hamlet
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THEATRE REVIEW: Frozen starring Suranne Jones, Nina Sosanya & Jason Watkins

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: Theatre Royal Haymarket

WHEN: 9/2, press night 20/2, runs to 5/5/18

We’re imagining that most of the packed audience at this venue are here for Doctor Foster star Suranne Jones and it’s her name we hear in occasional murmurings from our fellow guests ahead of this first preview.

  • Read on for reasons including why it’s Jason Watkins who you’ll remember about this

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AWARDS: MONSTAS: Our best theatre revival of 2017 so far

We awarded 12 monstas for the best pop, theatre, TV and film of 2016 in December – and here we look at the cream of 2017 so far and what’s to come. The Shakespeare Trilogy, by the Donmar at King’s Cross Theatre, was the previous winner in this category.

  • Read on for our top 5 best theatre revivals of 2017 so far and our hopes for the next half year

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THEATRE REVIEW: Ian McKellen with Shakespeare, Tolkien, others and you

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE: Park Theatre

WHEN: 3/7 (matinee), runs to 3/7

It’s Pride weekend in London and Sir Ian McKellen is reaching the end of a week-long series of shows during which he has raised an astonishing £250,000 for north London’s four-year-old Park Theatre, which receives no government funding.

  • Read on for reasons including how panto was an early inspiration

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for July

  1. Queers at the Old Vic

27/7 will mark the 50th anniversary of the repeal of the law against homosexuality and BBC4 has commissioned the filming of eight monologues curated by Mark Gatiss and featuring authors including Jackie Clune performed by stars such as Ben Whishaw (pictured above), Russell Tovey and Alan Cumming. UPDATE: 4/7: No sign of Whishaw or Cumming in the Old Vic casting announced today but it does include Tovey, Gemma Whelan, Sarah Crowe, Ian Gelder, Mark Bonnar & Kadiff Kirwan. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Jack O’Connell, Frank Ocean & Stockard Channing

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MONSTAS SHORTLIST: Theatre actor of the year: 2016

It’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2016? Over the next fortnight we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 12 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2016.

  • Read on for nominees for the monsta for theatre actor of the year. 2015 winner: James McAvoy (The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios)

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