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Sir Ian McKellen brings back Gandalf to raise funds for the Park Theatre

PUBLISHED: 11:03 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:24 22 March 2017

Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You. Picture: Mark Douet

Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You. Picture: Mark Douet

Archant

Forget blockbusters Beauty and the Beast, X Men or Lord of the Rings – fringe theatre is where it’s at, as Sir Ian McKellen steps in to offer support.

Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You. Picture: Mark Douet Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You. Picture: Mark Douet

Sir Ian McKellen is to star in nine exclusive performances at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park to help raise funds for the charity.

The celebrated actor may have starred in some of the biggest movie franchises, but it hasn’t stopped his commitment to championing fringe theatre. Often showing his support from the stalls at venues such as the King’s Head in Upper Street, he is now taking to the stage for a one man show.

Already an ambassador for the theatre, his performance of Shakespeare, Tolkein, Others & You from July 3 – 9 will see the multi-award winning and Oscar nominated actor reprise some of his more iconic roles, from Gandalf to Macbeth.

The Park’s artistic director Jez Bond is “honoured to be working with him to bring it to the stage”.

Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You. Picture: Mark Douet Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You. Picture: Mark Douet

Audiences will have the chance to ask questions, hear Sir Ian talk about discuss his work with other notable actors and directors and even participate in the performance. The walls will be lined with an exhibition of posters, paintings and photographs from Sir Ian’s plays and films – with a number of them available to buy.

“In a short time the theatre has established itself on both the theatrical and local maps,”says Sir Ian. “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.

“A number of £10 seats will also be available on the day.

“I do hope you’ll support this wonderful cause.”

The building works on Finsbury Park station have removed access to the theatre via Wells Terrace, putting an extra strain on the businesses and arts centres in Clifton Terrace, but the Park Theatre hopes Sir Ian’s performance will bring in some much appreciated endorsement.

Bond says: “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.”

Tickets are priced at £85 – 95, or £145 for the Gala performance on July 4. Limited £10 available on the day.

Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, N4 3JP

Parktheatre.co.uk

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