British acting legend Ian McKellen, is set to tour the UK in a one-man show titled IAN MCKELLEN ON STAGE: WITH TOLKIEN, SHAKESPEARE, OTHERS AND YOU. McKellen is touring to celebrate his 80th birthday, and to raise money for theatres around the UK.
Beginning in January 2019 at McKellen’s local theatre The Space, the tour begins with a multitude of London dates with stops including the Bridge Theatre, Young Vic, Old Vic and a students only performance at the Donmar Warehouse. McKellen will then continue the tour nationwide, with McKellen visiting certain venues he has personal connections with. All profits from the tour will benefit specific causes at each theatre and McKellen has promised that accessibly priced tickets for the tour will be available.
IAN MCKELLEN ON STAGE will feature anecdotes and acting as he celebrates his extraordinary career and life. The show will be directed by his longtime collaborator, Sean Mathias.
McKellen said: ‘I’m celebrating my 80th birthday by touring a new solo show to theatres I know well and a few that I don’t. The show starts with Gandalf and will probably end with an invitation to act with me on stage. In-between there will be anecdotes and acting. I open at my local arts centre in January and end up by August in Orkney’.
‘Live theatre has always been thrilling to me, as an actor and in the audience. Growing up in Lancashire, I was grateful to those companies who toured beyond London and I’ve always enjoyed repaying that debt by touring up and down the country myself, with the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Prospect Theatre, the Actors’ Company, as well as with commercial productions. Sean Mathias, the director and I have worked together for stage and screen, many happy times.’
Venues included on the tour include Wigan Little Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse, Blackpool Grand, The Dukes at Lancaster, The Watermill Theatre in Newbury, The RSC in Stratford, Theatre By the Lake in Keswick and Orkney Arts Theatre before concluding the tour in the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre, September 2019. Fittingly, McKellen visits 80 venues for his 80th birthday.
Tickets for the tour are now on sale.