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Catch Ian McKellen’s gripping and entertaining one-man show, as he celebrates his 80th birthday with a tour of his solo show! Spend an evening with the legendary actor, and join him on a 30-year journey that took him from a small town in Northern England to become one of the finest classical actors in England. Do not miss a show that restores your faith in theatre, and reminds you why you love it so much!

why watch ian mckellen live

A winner a Tony, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and six Olivier Awards, Ian McKellen is one of the most popular and acclaimed actors in the world. He has taken roles in genres that range from classical Shakespearean to theatre to science fiction and fantasy. A supremely talented actor, McKellen is widely regarded as a British cultural icon and was knighted in 1991. He began his acting career in a local theatre for a few years, debuting professionally at the Belgrade Theatre in 1961. Four years later, he made his first West End appearance. In 1969, he made his breakthrough performance as Richard II with Prospect Theatre Company. An activist and theatre actor, Sir Ian has been a staunch LGBT supporter throughout his life, and especially so after coming out as gay in 1988. His one-man show is brought to the stage by Sean Mathias, who has been a long-time collaborator of Sir Ian. The show is being performed at 80 different theatres in the country that he has some connection with, and all the proceeds of the show are being donated to theatre charities. A playful, poignant and passionate show awaits you, as he talks about his greatest hits, famous roles, and his journey.

The Show

A laid-back and relaxed session awaits you, and you can get an exclusive chance to ask questions. You may even get the chance to go up with him on stage. There will be plenty of gossip and stories from the legend himself, as he talks about his life and his journey as an actor for more than 60 years. He focuses a great deal on theatre and its role in his life. Soon enough you will be joined by the spirits of his mentors, family and other actors who played a crucial role in his life, as Sir Ian entertains you with stories and poetry. Performances as Gandalf and Henry V are guaranteed to leave you dumbstruck, and you will be able to understand why he is one of the most sought after actors currently. The energy and life in Sir Ian are uncharacteristic for an 80-year-old man, and it is easy to see why he is one of the most liked celebrities in the world. His easygoing attitude and charming personality are bound to surprise you, and the show feels like you are catching up with an old friend! His engagement is very vivid, and Sir Ian holds the audience in the palm of his hand. He tackles the roles that the younger audiences know him for and utilises some iconic props in his show. The second half of the show is taken over by Shakespeare, with cleverly constructed lines and wordplay at work. The audience will be asked to name some famous Shakespeare plays, he gives numerous anecdotes about each of them, providing riffs on everyone from Macbeth to Romeo. You will be awestruck by his memory and ability to bring these characters to life merely with words. The twinkle in his eyes as he delivers another punchline hasn’t faded away, and the show is by no means a farewell from the legend.

Good for

Theatre Lovers | First-time West End Goers | Ian McKellen Fans

Critics Reviews

“Shakespeare, wizards and panto dames all play their part in an evening of autobiography that is a love letter to theatre”
– The Guardian

“A chance to marvel at a theatrical great ”
– The Telegraph

cancellation policy

These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.

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Show Details

Show Timings

Mon-Sat 7:30 PM
Sun 3 PM
The show runs from the 20th of September, 2019 until the 5th of January, 2020.The dates of the performance vary, so please check the calendar to see the exact dates and timings.

Leading Roles
Ian McKellen as himself

Important Information

Photo and video recording are not allowed during the show.

Additional Info

2 hours and 25 mins, with 1 intermission

Suitable for ages 14 and up.

Available Facilities
In-house bar
Coat check
Wheelchair accessible

The Harold Pinter Theatre has a seating capacity of 785 seats across 4 sections. You can find the seating chart here.

Dress Code
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theater is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

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How to Redeem Your Tickets

Your mobile tickets will be sent to your email shortly. You will receive a confirmation within an hour of booking. Please show the mobile voucher at the tickets section along with a valid photo ID to enter the theatre hall.


Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN

Getting There

You can reach the Harold Pinter Theatre by Underground. The nearest station is Picadilly Circus, and you can reach it using the Picadilly or Bakerloo Lines (Blue and Brown).

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