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Sir Ian McKellen to visit Hull in fund-raising venture for theatres

Ian McKellen is set to make a very special appearance at Hull New Theatre next year as part of a solo UK tour to raise funds for theatres in honour of his 80th birthday.

It all begins in January 2019 with a Tour of London from the National Theatre to the Theatre Royal Stratford East, as well as performances in the West End and Outer London. Then, across the country, he will visit theatres large and small with which he has personal connections, including amateur groups he knew as a child and notable playhouses he has played in as a professional actor over the last half-century, taking in 80 venues in total.

The intimate one-man show, which comes to Hull on 16 June 2019, is a mixture of anecdote and acting, including Tolkien, Shakespeare, others...and the audience. Accessibly priced tickets will be available everywhere and all profits will benefit specific causes at each theatre.

Ian said: “I’m celebrating my 80th birthday by touring a new solo show to theatres I know well and a few that I don’t. The show starts with Gandalf and will probably end with an invitation to act with me on stage. In-between there will be anecdotes and acting. I open at my local arts centre in January and end up by August in Orkney.

“Live theatre has always been thrilling to me, as an actor and in the audience. Growing up in Lancashire, I was grateful to those companies who toured beyond London and I’ve always enjoyed repaying that debt by touring up and down the country myself, with the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Prospect Theatre, the Actors’ Company, as well as with commercial productions. Sean Mathias, the director and I have worked together for stage and screen, many happy times.

"I was last at the New Theatre in Hull with the Actors Company with Chekov, Congreve, and Shakespeare, high time that I returned as I tour the country with my new solo show of anecdote and acting. All profits will benefit young people particularly the disadvantaged who are not able to easily access theatre performances.”

Ambassador Theatre Group’s Executive Producer Adam Speers said: “ATG is proud to be presenting Ian McKellen On Stage and is committed to supporting regional touring. The UK’s regional venues are integral in supporting and developing artists and practitioners across all areas of the theatre, both on and off stage.

“All of us in this industry are united by a passion for the arts and love of what we do and this special show is a rare and excellent opportunity to celebrate what’s best in our industry while at the same time celebrating one of its greatest actors and raising vital funds to keep the lifeblood of theatre in this country flowing.”

Tickets for Ian McKellen on Stage at Hull New Theatre on 16 June 2019 go on sale from 10am on Friday 9 November 2018 priced £10-£55. Book at the Hull City Hall box office or call 01482 300 306. Visit our new website to book online.

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