Savage Rivals McKellen as Leading London Dame???
Date: 15 June 2004
With Tonight's the Night closing date now confirmed as 30 October 2004 (See Today’s News, the route is clear for the next big productions at the West End’s Victoria Palace Theatre. As previously tipped (See The Goss, 4 Jun 2004), Billy Elliot is expected to move in come spring 2005 (dates and venues for that much-anticipated show will be announced at a press event on 22 June). Ahead of that, there’s just enough time for a good Christmas pantomime season, and the likely contender is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was a hit last Christmas in Manchester with Lily Savage (aka actor Paul O’Grady) as the Wicked Witch. Whatever the vehicle, Savage will give Ian McKellen, who will simultaneously be giving his Widow Twankey in Aladdin at the Old Vic (See News, 22 Apr 2004), a run for his money in the top panto dame honours. Savage’s producer Paul Elliott is certainly hoping so. In an interview with Whatsonstage.com’s Mark Shenton, Elliott admits that, after recent disappointments with Rattle of a Simple Man and Thoroughly Modern Millie, “If I can’t sell that (Savage’s panto), then I will definitely pack it in” (See Features, 14 Jun 2004).
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