Sir Ian McKellen is celebrating his 80th birthday with a fundraising tour of the UK – including two nights at the Liverpool Playhouse.
The stage and screen star will appear at the Williamson Square theatre on May 17-18 with his show Ian McKellen on Stage: Tolkien, Shakespeare, others….and you!
He said today: “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.
“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.
“In my early days, I worked at the Liverpool Playhouse as a director and actor. As a boy I saw productions here, as my step-mother had done before me. She remembered Michael Redgrave and Robert Donat in the repertory company and relished productions which toured beyond London to the North West, as I am now doing with my new solo show round the country.”
Ian McKellen in The Bacchae at Liverpool Playhouse, 1969. Credit: Colin Thorpe
Sir Ian was born in Burnley on May 25, 1939 and grew up in Wigan and Bolton. He studied English Literature at Cambridge and, since 1961, has worked non-stop in the British theatre.
He has been leading man and produced plays, modern and classic, for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain and in the West End of London. His performances at the Liverpool Playhouse included The Bacchae in 1969.
He was knighted for services to theatre in 1991.
Money raised from his birthday tour will go towards supporting British theatre projects.
Ian McKellen on Stage is at the Liverpool Playhouse on May 17-18 2019. Public booking opens on November 19 and tickets are £20-£50 from the website HERE