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Sir Ian McKellen reprising role of Gandalf for the stage

Sir Ian McKellen reprising role of Gandalf for the stage

Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Sir Ian McKellen is to bring Gandalf, his most iconic film role, to the stage for a new one-man show.

The veteran actor will bring the wizard to life for a nine-performance charity run at London’s Park Theatre. Funds raised will go towards the upkeep of the small 200-seat theatre in Finsbury Park.

He will also resurrect other famous characters from his 50-year career, such as Macbeth. It will have an interactive element, with its star inviting the audience to ask questions and act with him.

The show is called Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You is already sold out – although the Park Theatre website says more tickets may be released soon…

In a statement, Sir Ian said: ‘I’m performing at Park Theatre to help raise funds for the charity. In a short time the theatre has established itself on both the theatrical and local maps.

‘But with no public subsidy for core costs they need to bring in donations of around £250,000 every year just to keep the doors open.

‘The monies raised from the higher ticket prices for this production will support their core ambition of producing accessible theatre throughout the coming years and furthering their work with the local community.’

Artistic Director and producer of the show Jez Bond said: ‘As one of our country’s leading actors, I can’t imagine there is anyone better placed to understand both the power and importance of smaller scale theatres and the challenges they face.

‘Ian has been a staunch supporter since the building was a hard-hat site – and I continue to be grateful for and humbled by his incredible generosity.

‘He has donated his time to help raise vital funds by performing this show – and I am honoured to be working with him to bring it to the stage.’

Sir Ian first played Gandalf 16 years ago in the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

He then reprised the role twice more for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and again for The Hobbit trilogy.

In 2015 he famously said: ‘I’ve had it with Gandalf’. Thankfully for Middle Earth fans, he’s had a change of heart!