Sir Ian McKellen to reprise his role of Gandalf for charity stage show

Iconic actor Sir Ian McKellen will be reprising his role as Gandalf during a stage production later this year. McKellen will star in a nine-performance charity run at London's Park Theatre and funds raised will go towards the small theatre in Finsbury Park, Gay Star News reports. As well as Gandalf, McKellen will also reprise other roles from his career such as Macbeth. The show, called Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You will be an interactive experience where the audience are invited to ask questions and interact with the actor. In a statement, McKellen said: "I'm performing at Park Theatre to help raise funds for the charity. In a short time, the theatre has established itself on both the theatrical and local maps." "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 the coming years and furthering their work with the local community." McKellen, who recently opened a gay exhibition in Manchester, first played Gandalf 16 years ago in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. He reprised his role for its sequels and then again for the Hobbit trilogy. Sir Ian recently looked back on his own experiences of growing up gay in the era before decriminalisation, in the inaugural episode of our new podcast series Attitude Heroes. After spending the first two decades of his career keeping his sexuality hidden from the public, McKellen came out as gay in 1988 in response to the Thatcher government’s Section 28 legislation, which banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools around the country. He later co-founded LGBT rights charity Stonewall before going on to become one of the UK’s most vocal LGBT+ rights campaigners. You can listen to Sir Ian in episode 1 of Attitude Heroes below. You can download and subscribe to the full series here. Related stories: Hugh Jackman refused to wear a ‘c**k sock’ on the Wolverine set – so the crew gave him a big surprise Pietro Boselli gives us all a heart attack as he shows off his muscles in sexy holiday snaps