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FIRST LOOK: Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins in BBC2’s The Dresser

(Image credit: BBC/Playground Entertainment)

Gandalf meets Hannibal Lecter! Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Anthony Hopkins co-star together for the first time ever in BBC2’s adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s famous play The Dresser - and here’s the first picture from the drama.

The Dresser tells the story of a fateful night in a small theatre during World War Two as a troupe of touring actors stage a production of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Bombs are falling and sirens are wailing, but the actor/manager Sir (Hopkins), who is playing King Lear, is nowhere to be seen, even though the curtain is up in an hour. His dresser Norman (McKellen) scrambles to keep the production alive, but will Sir turn up in time and if he does will he be able to perform?

The one-off drama also features plenty of other top British talent including Sarah Lancashire, Edward Fox and Emily Watson.

Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “To bring such incredible and world class talent together for The Dresser is testament to Ronald’s wonderful play which is as current and witty today as it was in 1980. With Anthony and Ian at the helm of the drama and such an array of supporting stars – the audience is in for a once in a lifetime treat.”