Ian McKellen is to celebrate his 80th birthday next year by raising funds for theatres, with a new solo show which will play on 80 stages across the UK, including Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June 2019.
It all begins in January 2019 with a Tour of London from the National Theatre to the Theatre Royal Stratford East, as well as performances in the West End and Outer London. Then, across the country, he will visit theatres large and small with which he has personal connections, including amateur groups he knew as a child and notable playhouses he has played in as a professional actor over the last half-century. His intimate show is a mixture of anecdote and acting, including Tolkien, Shakespeare, others…and you the audience.
Ian McKellen says:
“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.
The legacy of Birmingham Rep is recognised by actors everywhere, which is why I wanted to present my new solo show here to celebrate my 80th birthday. All profits will benefit the REP First Campaign, nurturing new talent.”
Tickets start from £15 and can be purchased by visiting the Birmingham Rep Box Office, visiting birmingham-rep.co.uk or calling 0121 236 4455.