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Sir Ben Kingsley signs ceiling at Thomas’s pub in York
A LANDLADY has told how Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley popped into her pub for a meal and a pint before watching his son Ferdinand playing God and Jesus in the York Mystery Plays .
The star of films such as Gandhi and Sexy Beast later returned to Thomas’s pub after Thursday night's performance, accompanied by Ferdinand and his co-star, former Coronation Street actor Graeme Hawley, who plays the Devil.
The trio stayed until the early hours, and all signed a ceiling in the lower bar which was recently decorated with the Union Flag, said Mary Blair, who runs the pub in Museum Street with Kelly Blair.
Mary said: “When he came in, I told him I recognised him from various films but his name had gone completely out of my head!”
“He said: ‘I’m Sir Ben Kingsley and pleased to meet you’. He was very polite – a beautiful man and it was a pleasure serving him.
“He also said that the play was outstanding and actually told Kelly and me off for not going to see it yet!
“He said he had just returned from Germany and was flying to America at the weekend for his next film. He was drinking the world-famous Sarah Hughes Ruby Mild cask ale, which I believe we are the only pub in York to sell. They left at about 1.30am, when he was driven back to Oxfordshire.”
Now Mary and Kelly are hoping other big names will come to the pub and sign the ceiling, to turn it into a “celebrity ceiling.”
The pub is opposite the entrance to the Museum Gardens where the Plays are being staged throughout August.