The UK tour will visit theatres with a personal connection to the actor and performances will encourage audience members to share the stage
The tour begins in January with a two-night run at his local theatre, the Space, in east London. Later dates include Coventrys Belgrade theatre, where he had his first professional job (I stayed a year, on £8.50 a week), Cambridge Arts theatre, where he acted as an undergraduate, and Wigan Little theatre, where he saw his first Shakespeare production as a child.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Ian McKellen as Coriolanus at the National Theatre in 1984. Photograph: Alastair Muir/Rex/Shutterstock McKellen will also perform in many theatres for the first time and will tailor his material to each venue. He will visit Above the Stag in Lambeth, south London, because I wanted to make my debut at Londons only LGBT+ theatre. I will include my memories of the first production of Martin Shermans sensational Bent, words from Armistead Maupin and a few surprising gay characters in Shakespeare.
He said: “I wanted to celebrate my 80th birthday in Bolton, where I grew up and discovered in its three professional theatres, a passion for acting, which has never faded.
He will celebrate his birthday, 25 May, with a show in Bolton, where he grew up and discovered in its three professional theatres, a passion for acting, which has never faded. In the town hall, where my father was borough engineer, Ill feel at home and grateful for all that Bolton nurtured in me.
McKellen will visit the Duke of Yorks theatre in the West End, where he made his London debut in 1964 and recently returned to star in No Mans Land, with Patrick Stewart, and King Lear, which closed earlier this month. He said: It was a joy to return recently for 100 performances of King Lear – or rather 99 performances. We had to cancel one Saturday matinee after my left leg gave way while running to catch a train. Rather than send the audience home, I gave an impromptu solo show with the aid of a chair and a walking stick.
The solo tour concludes at the National Theatres vast Olivier stage, where McKellen has previously starred in Coriolanus, The Real Inspector Hound and a brief solo show about Shakespeare. Being alone on the Olivier stage is a challenge, he recalled. During the second performance, my voice gave way, until restored by some voice exercises flat on my back. For my return … I will be upright and audible.
Profits from the tour will benefit specific causes at each theatre, from technical improvements to community outreach programmes, talent development and, at Billinghams Forum theatre, refurbishments to the bar, where McKellen suggests hell meet audiences after the show.
And Ian McKellen joked that Buckingham Palace brings out the worst in you in an interview set to air on Fridays Graham Norton Show, as he revealed he and actress Judi Dench, 83, once sat on Queen Elizabeth IIs throne.
Discussing the incident, which happened after they attended a dinner at the palace, the actor, 79, revealed: Once the banquet was over we followed music into another room that looked vaguely familiar.
Hilarious: Sir Ian McKellen has revealed he and Dame Judi Dench once SAT on the Queens throne as he joked Buckingham Palace brings out the worst in you
There was no one else there and no sign of the thrones so we went in search and when we found them behind a screen, we sat on them! Buckingham Palace brings out the worst in you.
Thats not the only mischievous thing that the actor has done at the palace, as he then admitted: I was doing a concert at Buckingham Palace and was given a dressing room right next to the balcony and decided to have a fag on it.
I was standing out there smoking with a view of The Mall when there was a search light on me and a policeman down below shouted up, “Sir Ian, dont forget youre in Buckingham Palace!”
Mischievous: Discussing the incident, the actor, 79, said: We went in search and when we found them behind a screen, we sat on them! (pictured together with Prince Charles in 1997)
Amusing: Thats not the only mischievous thing that the actor has done at the palace, as he then admitted that he was caught smoking on a balcony (pictured with Prince Charles in 2008)
He continued: Six months later I was there to get a medal and as I walked through the gate with a friend the same policeman said, “Not you two again!”
Sir Ian also discussed his forthcoming one-man show Ian McKellen on Stage, which will see him tour across the country from January 25 to August 28 2019, with a final performance taking place on September 15 at the National Theatre in London.
The Lord Of The Rings star will perform in multiple locations across the capital, as well as travelling to cities like York, Belfast, and even Orkney.
Profits from his 80-date tour will go towards the theatres that he is set to perform in, and the money will benefit specific causes like talent development and technical improvements to their community outreach programmes.
Busy schedule: Ian also discussed his forthcoming one-man show Ian McKellen on Stage, which will see him tour across the country from January 25 to August 28 2019
Traveller: The Lord Of The Rings star will perform in multiple locations across London, as well as travel to cities like York, Belfast, and even Orkney
Of why hes doing the shows, he told host Graham: I am beginning to wonder! Stand up is the greatest discipline so next year I am doing lots of one night stands. Itll be busy and fun.
While, when discussing his role in the new Cats film, he cheekily said: Im looking for the inner pussy – the “moggyiness” thats within us all.
Ive always wanted to be in a musical on stage so rather late in the day this is like a dream come true.
The Graham Norton Show will air on BBC One, Friday 9th November at 10.35pm. Carey Mulligan, Michael Bublé, and Taron Egerton, will also appear.