I've always hoped that one day I'd get to see the legendary stage and screen actor Ian McKellen performing live. 

But never in a million years did I think that I would get to see the X-Men and Lord of the Rings star perform Shakespeare's work wrapped up in one of the most bonkers pantomimes I've ever seen - and during Easter of all times. 

And now, after thinking about the utter insanity that was Mother Goose, a seasonal pantomime that featured the iconic actor inhabiting the role of panto dame Mother Goose herself, I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

Sir Ian McKellen was supposed to be starring alongside northern comedian and Doctor Who star John Bishop as Mother Goose's husband Vic Goose, but the funnyman was unavailable, replaced by understudy Gabriel Fleary. 

Despite Gabriel needing to step in at the last minute, the pair had fantastic chemistry throughout the show and were definitely one of its strongest elements. 

McKellen looked like he was having a blast in a role altogether more light-hearted than the prestige roles of Magneto and Gandalf, complete with a series of resplendent costumes, references to his past work, some unexpected partial nudity, a rendition of Right Said Fred's 'I'm Too Sexy', and plenty of naughty jokes and sass. 

Swindon Advertiser: Sir Ian Mckellen is great as the titular Mother Goose, Caroline GooseSir Ian Mckellen is great as the titular Mother Goose, Caroline Goose (Image: Manuel Harlan)

The rest of the cast, all extremely talented, play a good and bad fairy, a group of abandoned animals that live at an abandoned Debenhams under the Goose's care, and their son Jack, played by an energetic and relatable Oscar Conlon-Morrey, and they bring a positive chaotic and unruly energy to the production. 

The script has plenty of topical references, political satire including a pig in a school tie called Boris who also sounds like a certain former Prime Minister, a bad guy working for 'the energy company', and double entendres aplenty, but at times it also does feel like the weakest part of the whole thing, often failing to live up to the bombastic performance of the show's main star. 

All of the zaniness and madness of a panto is there, right from the start when Puss in Boots appears at the wrong musical and then a group of adults dressed like animals carrying puppets of other animals perform the early 90s hit Boom-Shack-A-Lack. 

But what isn't necessarily there is the cohesiveness and polish of a production strong enough to stand on its own. The talent of Gabriel Fleary helped to cover for the loss of one of its stars, but there's no hiding how much it relies on the presence of its other big name, and when that name is as big as Sir Ian Mckellen's, that's certainly unavoidable.