Sir Ian McKellen to celebrate 80th birthday with show at Georgian Theatre

World famous actor Sir Ian McKellen is to celebrate his 80th birthday next year with a new solo show which will play on 80 stages across the UK, including the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond.

The theatre has announced that it has been chosen by Sir Ian as one of the venues, with a performance taking place on Friday, June 14.

To share this good fortune with its supporters and the local community, the theatre is giving away 100 free tickets in a public ballot.

The ballot is currently live on the theatre’s website and will close on Thursday, January 31.

Those who are successful in obtaining tickets will be informed on Thursday, February 14 and winners will receive two tickets each for the evening.

Ian McKellen on Stage – Tolkien, Shakespeare, others and you! 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, moving across the country, Sir Ian 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.

All profits will benefit specific causes at each theatre.

His intimate show is a mixture of anecdote and acting, including Tolkien, Shakespeare, others.

In a quote specific to The Georgian Theatre Royal, Ian McKellen, said: “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 RSC, the National Theatre, Prospect Theatre, the Actors’ Company, as well as with commercial productions.

“My current UK tour celebrating my 80th birthday is visiting many theatres I know well and others that I care about.

“So I’m delighted to be back in the country’s oldest working theatre, whose intimacy will well suit my new solo show of anecdote and acting.

“All profits are to benefit this precious theatre royal. See you there, I hope.”

Clare Allen, chief executive of the Georgian Theatre Royal, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting Ian McKellen as part of his awe-inspiring birthday tour.

“He is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of our times and it is a huge honour to have him tread the boards of our historic stage.

“We wanted to give as many people as possible the opportunity to share the occasion, whether they are supporters, volunteers and audience members at our own theatre, lovers of the arts or just dedicated Lord of the Rings aficionados – and we encourage people to pitch their names into the public ballot.”


To enter the free ticket ballot for the show at the Georgian Theatre Royal, please visit the Theatre’s website