Ian McKellen in a dress

Well, several dresses, really – last night I saw the Old Vic pantomime, Aladdin. Which very much has Ian McKellen as the pantomime dame. (Note that this is in no way worse than Aled Jones singing O Holy Night – it’s entirely possible that Ian McKellen is a better singer than Aled Jones, although probably not a better dancer.)

It’s actually been some time since I went to a pantomime – years, in fact – and although it was heavy on the innuendo and celebrity references, it was still very much a children’s pantomime. Actually, thinking about it, children’s pantomimes are always full of innuendo and celebrity references. Fun for all the family, providing your family knows about sex.

I really want to see the script, though, because there was a scene to music where Hanky and Panky covered each other in wallpaper paste, and I’m convinced that in the script it just said “lazzo”.

Anyway, that’s not the point. Ian McKellen in a dress, on stage at the Old Vic, in a wonderfully camp pantomime. Who’d have thought?

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