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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 December, 2004, 18:51 GMT
McKellen makes panto dame debut
McKellen long harboured a desire to be in a panto
Sir Ian McKellen made his first appearance as a pantomime dame on Saturday afternoon after a planned debut was called off.

Friday night's planned opening of Aladdin, at the Old Vic in London, was cancelled due to "technical problems" following a dress rehearsal.

A theatre spokesman said disappointed theatre goers were offered refunds.

Sir Ian's debut as Widow Twankey was much anticipated. When he agreed to do the role he said it was an "adventure".

Aladdin also stars Maureen Lipman and Sam Kelly.


Last month, Sir Ian said: "Pantomime has everything theatrical - song, dance, verse, slapstick, soliloquy, audience participation, spectacle, cross-dressing and a good plot, strong on morality and romance.

"What more could you want for a family outing?"

Sir Ian is one of the British theatre's most distinguished actors and he is well-known to millions around the world as wizard Gandalf, from The Lord of the Rings.

He added: "It's all a bit of an adventure for me, but I believe there's more pure theatre in a pantomime than you get in Shakespeare, and if it works, it's unforgettable."

The panto is part of actor Kevin Spacey's first season as artistic director of the Old Vic.

Actor Sir Ian becomes panto Dame
19 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Theatre hails Spacey appointment
06 Feb 03 |  Entertainment

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