Wellington Scoop

TIckets on sale for Ian McKellen at the Opera House in Wellington

News from Isaac Theatre Royal
Tickets for Ian McKellen On Stage, a special one-man show created by the acclaimed stage and screen star, go on sale throughout New Zealand today and organisers expect high demand for the 14 performances in Wellington and 10 other centres.

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit star Ian McKellen is downing his staff and pointy blue hat at weekends to perform the series of special one-man shows to raise funds to restore Christchurch’s earthquake-damaged Isaac Theatre Royal.

The project was announced last week and sparked keen interest around the world through media and social media channels

With the support of ASB Bank, Ian McKellen on Stage will be an intimate look at Sir Ian’s work and life. Sir Ian is currently in New Zealand reprising his Oscar-nominated Gandalf in The Hobbit films and, direct from the Miramar studios, he will spend his weekends in May and June performing Ian McKellen on Stage at local theatres around the country. He opens in Stratford on Saturday 5 May before heading to Palmerston North, Hamilton, Tauranga, Nelson, Auckland, Christchurch, Wanaka, Hastings, Wellington and Carterton.

The first half of the show will focus on Sir Ian’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit wizard character, Gandalf, as the actor discusses how he became involved with the films.

In the second half, Sir Ian will turn to Shakespeare and discuss the plays, films and roles, interrupted by the occasional speech and soliloquy. The show will finish with members of the audience being invited to “play” dead French soldiers while Sir Ian delivers a stirring final speech.

“Basically it will be a party. Do come!” Sir Ian says.

ASB Bank has agreed to support the New Zealand wide shows so that all income goes directly to fund the repair Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre Royal – which was badly damaged in the series of 2011 earthquakes.

“The last time I was on stage in New Zealand was at the Isaac Theatre Royal in Waiting for Godot,” Sir Ian says. “I love this beautiful old theatre and want to help restore it as soon as possible.”

Sir Ian is at home on any stage, whether for the UK National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company or on tour worldwide in plays ancient and modern.

Since The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the X-Men movies, he has played in Strindberg, Beckett, Chekhov, Shakespeare, Mark Ravenhill, Eduardo De Filippo – and as Widow Twankey in the pantomime Aladdin. In New Zealand he has toured as King Lear and as Gogo in Waiting for Godot. On television he was most recently seen achieving his ambition to act in Coronation Street.

Tickets for Ian McKellen on Stage are $50* adults and $25* students/children (*service fees apply in some centres) and are on sale to the public from today. Organisers of the tour expect tickets to be in hot demand. The tour is being supported by the arts festivals networks around New Zealand. For full tour details visit www.mckellen.com

Saturday 23 June 7.30pm: Opera House, Wellington |
Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or www.ticketek.co.nz Supported by the New Zealand International Arts Festival

The Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
The 104-year old, ‘Grand Old Lady’ of Christchurch theatre survived the massive February 22 2011 earthquake and subsequent considerable aftershocks. Although insured for the majority of reinstatement works caused by earthquake damage, policy excess and some very necessary heritage restoration and improvement works must be paid for by the Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, who are embarking on a challenging fund raising campaign to cover the additional costs of potentially $6 million. www.isaactheatreroyal.co.nz