Well here’s something new, a pantomime in March and one of our most celebrated stage and screen actors putting on a frilly nightie and chucking eggs at the audience. If you come along to the Wales Millenniums Centre this week for one of the few remaining performances of MOTHER GOOSE, and you just want to see SIR IAN MCKELLEN, then I’m telling you now, you won’t be disappointed.

Everything about this show is good old-fashioned traditional panto fun.

Ian McKellen – Mother Goose (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Every good story (even the really silly ones) need a plot, and Mother Goose is no exception.

Comedian John Bishop was scheduled to be in the show this week but has understandably taken compassionate leave. Take a look at our original feature for more – HERE.

Ian McKellen is the irrepressible Caroline Goose and along with her husband Vic, played superbly this week by GABRIEL FLEARY, and son Jack (OSCAR CONLON-MURRAY) are trying to keep their Oxford Street animal shelter going through difficult financial times.

Thank heavens there’s a good witch Encanta (SHARON BALLARD) who flies in to save the day by sending Cilla the Goose (ANNA-JANE CASEY), who also happens to lay golden eggs. But this is panto land and you can bet your bottom dollar a baddie will pop up and try to nick the egg laying goose and Malignia (KAREN MAVUNDUKURE) is the said evil one.

This is what the opening night audience, who travelled from far and wide to see the show thought…….


As Ian McKellen comes onto the stage, dressed beautifully in a very fetching headscarf, curlers which would make my grandmother proud and a little fluffy pooch on a lead, the audience went wild, this is Sir Ian after all.

For the next two hours we get it all from Ian, humour, a touch of Shakespeare and even a little Gandalf, which is decidedly odd, but nevertheless hilarious, in a dress. And let’s be honest, the reason we go to see this show is for Sir Ian. But ever the gracious actor he allows and encourages the rest of this superb cast to shine in everything they do.

As with the traditions of pantomime we get a fair smattering of current humour. Writer JONATHAN HARVEY has named and shamed a few politicians and certainly doesn’t shy away from ongoing issues. And of course we get bucketloads of innuendos and double entendres which thankfully go right over the heads of the younger members of the audience.

There is nothing half-baked about this show, apart from baking scene which is a slop-filled, gunge-drenching delight, much to the joy of said younger audience – and us older ones, it was hilarious.

This is panto but somehow feels different, a little more music-hall perhaps than most. But everything we love about the traditionally festive favourite is there. The dancing is right on point with some great choreography from LIZZI GEE. The music too is a pop-filled delight with an eclectic, but hugely enjoyable mix of 80s and 90s favourites and a little Lady GaGa thrown in for good measure. We even get a bit of Right Said Fred, so what’s not to love with that?

On the subject of ‘throwing in‘, there is a lot of throwing out of stuff into the auditorium. Eggs, sweets and even footballs are hurled from the stage, with an overly eager audience trying to catch one of the treats – we didn’t by the way.

The fairies are particularly good vocally with Sharon and Karen delivering some great performances.

Although this is billed as a family pantomime it feels written with an older audience in mind. As we said, there’s an abundance of innuendo flying around and some of the songs are more classic musical, much to the delight of us theatre lovies. There is however a really great traditional audience sing-a-long, which made us feel like we were in the heart of the Principality Stadium.

MOTHER GOOSE has laid an egg-ceptional golden hit. Ian McKellen and a first class cast will keep you laughing, shouting and singing till you ache – oh yes they will. Gather your flock, get your tickets, and waddle on down to Cardiff Bay while you can. Go for Sir Ian if that’s your thing but you’ll come away having loved everyone and everything on the Donald Gordon stage.

MOTHER GOOSE is at the Wales Millennium Centre through to Saturday 1st April. Tickets, which start at £18 are available HERE