Ian McKellen To Play Gandalf Again, But Not In A Movie

McKellen to perform as the wise wizard in a stage performance this summer in London.


Actor Ian McKellen is not finished playing the wise wizard Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings just yet. It was announced this week that McKellen will reprise one of his most famous roles during a nine-night stage production at London's Park Theatre for a one-man show called Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You. He will perform as characters from his 50-year history in the entertainment business.

McKellen said he's doing the performance to help raise money to help the Park Theatre stay open. In a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter), McKellen said the establishment does not receive any subsidies for the group's core costs and relies on donations for its continued operations. The theatre needs to take in around £250,000 ($311,000) "just to keep the doors open," McKellen said.

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Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You runs July 3-9. In addition to performing as some of his movie and stage roles, McKellen will discuss his work with other actors and directors, while the audience will get to ask questions and even come up on stage to perform alongside the veteran actor. Attendees will also get to see "never-before-seen" posters, paintings, and photographs from throughout McKellen's career, with some of them available to buy.

Tickets start at £85 (ticket price £25; suggested donation £60) and go up from there. You can pay more for a special package that includes a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with McKellen. Another package includes a bottle of Vranec wine with a label made specifically for the show.

There will be 10 £10 seats available for each performance on the day of the show, released on a first-come, first-served basis. You can learn more about the production at the Park Theatre's website.

McKellen played Gandalf in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings series, reprising the role for Jackson's Hobbit prequel series. He has earned two Oscar nominations, first for Best Actor in 1998's Gods and Monsters and the second for Best Supporting Actor for The Fellowship of the Ring.

As mentioned, he is a veteran of the stage and screen. Some of his other famous roles include the Shakespeare characters Macbeth and Iago, which he portrayed during his time with the Royal Shakespeare Company. McKellen also portrayed Magneto in the X-Men series and most recently played Cogsworth in Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast.

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