Ian McKellen on Stage

Ian McKellen returns to our theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon for two special performances.


Ian McKellen On Stage
With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and YOU

Sunday 21 July 2019
2.30pm Swan Theatre
7.30pm Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Running time: 2 hrs 30 mins + 20 mins interval

Ian McKellen takes to the stage in a seven-month nationwide tour performing his one man show on 80 stages to celebrate his 80th birthday. He’ll visit Stratford-upon-Avon for two performances, and all proceeds go to support our Stitch In Time Campaign.

On the stage with his memories, Ian will delight audiences recounting some of the hilarious anecdotes of life in the Royal Shakespeare Company. As a regular in the Company for over 40 years, among the stories of his long and acclaimed career, you can expect some Shakespeare highlights and favourite speeches.

A message from Ian McKellen:

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 RSC, the National Theatre, Prospect Theatre, the Actors’ Company, as well as with commercial productions.

“I first came to the old Memorial Theatre in Stratford (now the Royal Shakespeare Theatre) as a schoolboy, camping at Tiddington and queuing through the night for half a crown standing places at the back of the stalls. There I saw the theatre giants of my youth.

“In 1976 for the RSC I was Romeo, Leontes and Macbeth (with Judi Dench). Most recently I was King Lear in The Courtyard Theatre (the RSC’s temporary theatre whilst the Royal Shakespeare Theatre was redeveloped), followed by a world tour. So it’s with gratitude and excitement that I’ll be making my debut in the Swan Theatre, and on the same day be back on the main stage where I last performed with Prince Charles as part of Shakespeare Live! From The RSC - which marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death - in 2016.

“In my new solo show I can share memories of Stratford and reprise Shakespeare. There’ll also be a chance for you to get onstage with me. All profits will support the Stitch In Time Campaign, restoring and redeveloping the RSC’s costume workshops. See you there, I hope!”

IAN McKELLEN ON STAGE is presented by Ambassador Theatre Group

Booking tickets

Please check for returns by calling the Box Office (01789 331111) or visiting in person.

The restoration and redevelopment of the Costume Workshop is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Lydia and Manfred Gorvy, The Foyle Foundation, and other generous supporters.

COATS - Official Thread Supplier to the RSC

The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by THE GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and THE KOVNER FOUNDATION


The Rooftop Restaurant will be open for dining between 11:30am and 6:15pm.