Ian McKellen did a couple of memorable seasons as Widow Twanky at the Old Vic back in the day, but even with his zestful approach to his ‘80s nobody would necessarily imagine he’d commit to a monthslong UK and Ireland tour of panto staple ‘Mother Goose’. But here we are!
Oh yes it is: London panto season returns for 2022, with familiar faces, familiar stories, and yet somehow holding on to a constant sense of anarchic family fun. There are plenty of punters who never set foot in a theatre throughout the rest of the year who make an exception for pantomimes, which are among the most joyful Christmas shows in London, especially if you're looking for a show to take the kids to. From the megascale London Palladium show with its filthy figurehead Julian Clary, to Clive Rowe’s brilliant panto purism at the Hackney Empire, London is a city that takes pantomime seriously. Even if the idea of seasonal frivolity fills you with dread, there’s a panto out there for you.
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