Patrick Stewart - and High School Musical - for Norwich

Emma Knights Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will take to the stage at Norwich Theatre Royal in Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot, and Disney's High School Musical is returning to Norwich.

Emma Knights

They have topped the bill on film sets, TV shows and stages across the world and now they are heading to Norwich.

Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will take to the stage at Norwich Theatre Royal from April 6 to 11 next year in Samuel Beckett's tragicomedy Waiting For Godot, where two men, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly for the mysterious Godot to arrive.

Sir Ian's most high-profile roles recently was as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and as Magneto in the X Men movies, and throughout his acting career spanning five decades he has starred in everything from Shakespeare and modern theatre to science-fiction films.

His co-star Patrick, probably best-known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, has also been a familiar face on stage and screen for half a decade.

Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “Ian McKellen has been a friend of the theatre for many years. His support as a patron of our 250 Appeal was critical in persuading the theatre world to back our ambitious plans.

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“He now shows his enduring affection for Norwich and Norfolk by insisting that this great play and cast come to the Theatre Royal as part of a five-week UK tour. We are proud to host him and Patrick Stewart - two of the finest actors of this or any generation - in one of the landmark plays of the 20th Century.”

Waiting For Godot is one of a number of shows announced yesterday for the theatre's 2009 season.

Disney's High School Musical, which last time became one of the venue's fastest-selling productions ever, will return to Norwich from July 6 to 11, while Basil Brush's family show High School Mania will be at the theatre on February 7.

Pop and soul legend Paul Carrack will be performing on February 8, and female comedy trio Fascinating Aida, whose blend of comedy songs and satire has won them three Laurence Olivier Award nominations, will be on stage on March 9.

Country and western fans will enjoy Ladies of Country starring Billie-Jo Spears and Stella Parton on March 15. TV medium Colin Fry will do two shows on March 19.

t Tickets for all shows go on sale to Friends of the Theatre tomorrow and to the general public on November 7.

t For more information or to book call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk