Sir Ian McKellen, John Bishop and Mel Giedroyc Join Forces for U.K. Pantomime Tour

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This is not a drill: Sir Ian McKellen is returning to the pantomime world for the first time in 17 years.
As London's Evening Standard reports, he has signed up to star opposite Doctor Who's John Bishop and Mel Giedroyc (formerly of The Great British Baking Show) in a U.K. touring production of Mother Goose. McKellen will play the title character in a version of the classic pantomime written by Jonathan Harvey (Coronation Street, Beautiful Thing). 
Pantomime is a form of family-friendly theater that plays in many British theaters throughout the festive season. A typical pantomime – or "panto" for short – will feature song and dance numbers, moments of audience participation, double entendres that aren't too salty for children, topical jokes, and a plot rooted in a well-known fairytale or nursery rhyme.
McKellen previously starred in a pantomime production of Aladdin at London's Old Vic theatre in 2004 and 2005. Discussing the genre's appeal at the launch of Mother Goose, he said: "Pantomime has every sort of device of storytelling you can come up with. There is a moral tale, particularly in Mother Goose, there is singing and there is dancing and there are jokes, and there is sentiment and talking to the audience and the audience talking back and wonderful scenery and music."
He added: "It has got everything and I think that's why we are so pre-eminent in theatre in this country, it is because we are based on pantomime."
McKellen, Bishop, and Giedroyc are definitely going all-in with Mother Goose: the production will run from December 2022 to April 2023, calling in at theaters in Brighton, London, Chichester, Sheffield, Wolverhampton, Liverpool, Oxford, Dublin, and Cardiff.
Are you a fan of pantomime?