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Sir Ian McKellen has a ball watching panto in Newbury



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Guess who had a ball at the Corn Exchange panto over Christmas? It was none other than Knight of the Realm and great British actor Sir Ian McKellen... oh yes it was...

And this time he wasn't on stage, but in the stalls.

Cinderella director and co-writer Adam Brown – who hails from Hungerford – explained the great actor's surprise appearance in the audience yesterday.

Sir Ian McKellen left of centrre with the pantomime cast. Adam Brown is right of centre (blue suit)
Sir Ian McKellen left of centrre with the pantomime cast. Adam Brown is right of centre (blue suit)

Adam had played the dwarf Ori in the film adaptation of JRR Tolkien's novel The Hobbit. Directed by Peter Jackson it was filmed in New Zealand, where he became friends with Sir Ian, who played the wizard Gandalf.

"Ian wanted to come and see my panto at The Corn Exchange," he said. "We’ve stayed friends since filming in New Zealand. We are both panto enthusiasts and he was eager to see what we do in Newbury.

"Needless to say he loved it – even stood up and joined in with the songsheet!

"He met the cast and crew after – it was a lovely afternoon."



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