Legendary actor Sir Ian McKellen will reprise his role as J.R.R. Tolkien’s Gandalf in a one-person show at London’s Park Theatre this summer.
In addition to Gandalf, the 77-year-old actor will play a sampling of different characters from his storied career; he may even take audience requests. However, the event is slated to be more of an intimate experience than just a performance. McKellen plans to bring other actors and directors on stage to discuss his work, and afford audience members the opportunity to ask the award-winning thespian questions and participate with him on stage. The one-person show, which will run for nine nights, is intended to raise funds in benefit of the Park Theatre.
“I’m performing at Park Theatre to help raise funds for the charity,” said McKellen. “In a short time the theater has established itself on both the theatrical and local maps. But with no public subsidy for core costs they need to bring in donations of around £250,000 ($311,000) every year just to keep the doors open.”
The show will last two hours, with tickets costing £85 ($106). There will be some tickets available for £10 ($12) the day of the performance. McKellen has noted that the money made from the higher priced tickets will aid the theater’s “core ambition of producing accessible theater throughout the coming years and furthering their work with the local community.”
A classically trained actor, McKellen got his professional start in a 1961 stage production of Robert Bolt’s “A Man For All Seasons,” which was later adapted into the award-winning film of the same name. The thespian is celebrated for his performances of Shakespeare both on-stage and screen, having become a regular actor for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1970. Over the course of his career, McKellen has won every major theatrical award in the UK. He’s also had critical success in his on-screen renditions of Shakespeare. In 1995, he played the titular character in Richard Loncraine’s adaptation of “Richard III.” McKellen received a BAFTA nomination for that work.
McKellen is probably most well-known for his roles as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s adaptations of Tolkien’s work (“Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit“) and Magneto in Fox’s “X-Men” movies. In the latter role, McKellen played opposite his long-time friend Patrick Stewart, who starred as Professor Charles Xavier. Most recently, McKellen played Cogsworth in the live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You” will run July 3-9 at London’s Park Theater.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)