Ian McKellen on Stage: Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and YOU!

After queuing for an hour on a cold morning with other theatre enthusiasts, my sister and I managed to get two seats (for as little as 10 pounds) for Ian McKellen’s one-man show at Harold Pinter Theatre. The performance is a continuation of the UK tour celebrating his 80th birthday. The show will run until February 2020 in London, visiting eighty venues around the country. All the profits go to charities dedicated to theatre. ​


Gandalf, King Lear, and Richard III are only a few of the many personalities Ian McKellen has adapted throughout the many years of his acting career. However, during the two and a half hours, we can mostly encounter the actor himself: talking about his first experience with theatre, telling what happened behind the scenes of The Lord of the Rings, how he met the Queen or what plays he did at university.


Poster for Ian McKellen On Stage (Courtesy of Harold Pinter Theatre)

The best part of the night is probably how it makes you feel as if you are watching someone that you have known for a really long time, but somehow, it is actually the first time you are encountering them in person. McKellen interacts with the audience as much as possible, perhaps by inviting one girl up on stage or asking everyone to list all of Shakespeare’s plays. The performance is a conversation alternating between poems and extracts from plays, which makes it a perfect balance between theatre and stand-up comedy.


By the end of the evening, I left feeling entertained and extremely positive. It was an absolutely unique experience to see such an iconic figure on stage in a relaxed performance. If you consider yourself a hardcore fan of The Lord of the Rings or a theatre lover, this is a show that cannot be missed!


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