Maureen Lipman and Roger Allam to Join McKellen in Old Vic Aladdin

News   Maureen Lipman and Roger Allam to Join McKellen in Old Vic Aladdin That thoroughbred thespian Ian McKellen is lined up to play the dame, Widow Twanky, in the Old Vic's Aladdin, has long been known. However, the Daily Mail newspaper has reported an almost equally starry supporting cast.

Roger Allam and Maureen Lipman are far from makeweights. Lipman is as well-known in the U.K. as McKellen, thanks to her copious TV resume and her high-profile stage turns including, recently, Cameron Mackintosh’s staging of Oklahoma! and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Allam created the role of Javert in Les Misérables and has been a theatre star ever since, with lauded recent turns in Privates on Parade at the Donmar Warehouse and Michael Frayn’s Democracy. Also in the cast are Sam Kelly, currently winning rave reviews in the National Theatre’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Cat Simmons and Joe McFadden. Sean Matthias will direct Billie Brown’s specially written version.

At an Old Vic press conference earlier in 2004, Old Vic's Kevin Spacey admitted his own relative ignorance about pantomimes, saying, “I personally look forward to this production, as the panto is an entirely new form for me because the tradition does not exist in America.” He’ll get his chance when the show starts performances on Dec. 17.

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