McKellen at 80 – local dates

SIR Ian McKellen, one of the greatest actors of his generation and a major film-star for his Lord of the Rings performance, is making a nationwide tour of 80 solo shows at theatres large and small, to celebrate his 80th birthday in 2019. The venues include Poole’s Lighthouse arts cinema, the Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis, Bath Theatre Royal, Bristol Old Vic and the Northcott Theatre at Exeter.

With six Olivier Awards, a Tony, a Golden Globe, two Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations, and every major theatrical award, he is a true national treasure.

Sir Ian, who played Gandalf in the films based on JRR Tolkein’s books, says: “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.”

The solo tour will take Sir Ian from Orkney to Lyme Regis and the money raised from the event will go towards specific projects at the various venues.

It will be the first time the star has appeared at the Marine. He says: “I’m delighted to be making my debut in Lyme Regis as part of the UK tour celebrating my 80th birthday… I’m pleased that all profits will support the youth theatre and help update the Marine’s dressing rooms. See you there, I hope!”

The Marine theatre manager Sophia Moseley said: “We were so pleased when Sir Ian’s team rang the Marine. It’s delightful to work with him to raise money for the venue. He’s not only one of the world’s greatest actors, but has also campaigned considerably for social movements. I can’t wait to share this special event with the community.”

West Country dates for Sir Ian McKellen are: Bristol Old Vic, 19th-20th February, Bath Theatre Royal, 24th March, Exeter Northcott, 1st July, Poole Lighthouse, 2nd July and Lyme Regis, 3rd July.  Booking is open from 9th November.