Sir Ian McKellen fundraises for earthquake-struck theatre

Solo show will feature Shakespeare, Lord of the Rings and questions from the audience

Sir Ian McKellen fundraises for earthquake-struck theatre
10 May 2012

Sir Ian McKellen is lending his support to an earthquake-struck theatre in Christchurch.

Isaac Theatre Royal, in which McKellen performed in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in 2010, was damaged when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struct Christchurch in February 2011.

In order to fund the theatre’s restoration McKellen is taking a solo show around New Zealand with a bit of Shakespeare, a bit of Gandalf and the chance for the audience shout out any questions to the veteran gay actor.

The show, Ian McKellen on Stage with Shakespeare, Tolkien and You! is in Hamilton on the north island on Saturday, before traveling to Tauranga, Nelson, Auckland, Christchurch, Lake Wanaka, Hastings, Wellington and Carterton up until the end of June.

McKellen, 73, who is in New Zealand filming The Hobbit, reprising his spellbinding performance as Gandalf the wizard from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, said to local newspaper Hamilton Press:

‘I have done quite a few solo shows in the past, one about Shakespeare, one about being gay, but this one is very much in response to the times; it will be a real Kiwi effort where the focus is on spontaneity. I will do a bit of acting including Shakespeare, Lord of the Rings and I will talk about anything anybody wants to know.’

When asked about gay rights, for which he has campaigned for decades, McKellen said:

‘We are now in a period of flux where old laws are seen to be cruel and unnecessary, and they are gradually dropping off the constitutional tree as it were. New Zealand had gotten to grips before many other civilised places of this unnecessary problem so rooted in the past where people saw gay people as so different and that they had to be treated differently by the law. I have done a few bits in the UK and I have noticed a great deal of change for the better.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

ISIS posts images, video of execution of 4 gay men on the day of US same-sex marriage ruling

ISIS posts images, video of execution of 4 gay men on the day of US same-sex marriage ruling

A video and photos of the latest executions are being shared on social media with the hashtag #LoveWins
No thumbnail available

Tourism Ireland launches LGBTI travel campaign following gay marriage result

Organization's CEO points to $250million first year spend in New York following law change
No thumbnail available

Judge orders an Indiana gay youth support group can sell specialty plates

Indiana Youth Group wins a legal battle and can begin selling its specialty license plates at the end of this month
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay TV commentators under scrutiny

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation launches Accountability Project
No thumbnail available

Radio DJ tells father he should have daughter 'raped' straight

Cleveland radio personality offers homophobic advice to father of young teen girl
REVIEW: Hibagon – Sydenham, London

REVIEW: Hibagon – Sydenham, London

A solid option for some Japanese favorites if you live in this part of town.
No thumbnail available

US volleyball coach claims he was fired for being gay

James Finley says Virginia Commonwealth University's decision to sack him was like being 'stabbed in the heart'
No thumbnail available

Mr Gay UK donates prize money to charity

Mr Gay UK donates winnings to Terence Higgins Trust in support of friend with HIV.
No thumbnail available

Larry Kramer's new history book: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were gay

'Most history is written by straight people, and they don’t have gaydar'
No thumbnail available

Uruguay’s civil unions more popular with straights than LGBTs

Uruguay’s civil unions are proving more popular with heterosexual couples than the country’s LGBT community