Tickets to see Sir Ian McKellen, one of the UK’s most-loved and admired actors, at The Civic in Barnsley sold out in record time.
Sir Ian is performing a one-man show on 80 stages across the UK to celebrate his 80th birthday next year. He appears at The Civic, Barnsley on 11 June, 2019.
Ian McKellen said: “My current UK tour with my new solo show is visiting many places I know well but this is my first time in Barnsley. It’s a happy opportunity to celebrate my 80th birthday by raising funds for The Civic and the #Connect Campaign.”
2019 also marks the 10th anniversary of The Civic. As a much loved Grade II listed building, The Civic has been part of the town since 1877. It reopened in 2009 after investment to refurb, but did so with a third of the building unfinished and unused.
The £5m #Connect fundraising campaign aims to open up the whole of The Civic, add a new theatre, café, and extended gallery, and re-open 22,000 sq ft creating a wow-factor. Its ambition is to become a world-class destination for the arts by 2023.
Helen Ball, CEO of The Civic, said: “Tickets sold out in less than an hour and a half, which is something of a record. All profits go to our Connect Appeal, and with 296 tickets sold, this is a great boost as this money will also be match funded by the Arts Council. We’re incredibly grateful to Sir Ian for his support, and can’t wait to give him a warm welcome in Barnsley.”
Sir Ian said: “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.”
The intimate show, presented by the Ambassador Theatre Group will encompass anecdotes and acting from Tolkien to Shakespeare.
Ambassador Theatre Group’s Executive Producer Adam Speers said: “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.”
To make a donation please visit: www.localgiving.org/charity/thecivicbarnsley
NOTES TO EDITORS
About The Civic
The Civic is a contemporary arts centre positioned in the heart of South Yorkshire. As a charity the organisation exists to bring extraordinary experience of the arts to the local community and beyond. The Civic prides itself on providing an engaging and diverse artistic programme across a range of genres. Registered Charity No, 1129765
http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/ For media enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 07534892715
IAN MCKELLEN first acted at school and with amateur groups in the north of England, here he was born and brought up. He attended Cambridge University and, since 1961, has worked non-stop in the British theatre. He has been leading man and produced plays, modern and classic, for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain and in the West End of London.
In Shakespeare he has triumphed as Richard II, Macbeth (with Judi Dench), Coriolanus, Iago, Richard III (also on film) and most recently as King Lear. He was in the first of Martin Sherman’s sensational “Bent” and premieres of plays by Arnold Wesker, Peter Shaffer, Michael Frayn, Alan Ayckbourn and Mark Ravenhill. Of late he has been Widow Twankey in the Old Vic’s “Aladdin” pantomime and toured “Waiting for Godot” and “No Man’s Land” with Patrick Stewart. As Salieri in “Amadeus” he won every available award on Broadway. For over a decade, he toured his one-man show, “Acting Shakespeare”
McKellen is recognised worldwide as Magneto in the X-Men films and Gandalf in Tolkien’s Middle Earth films. He won his first Oscar nomination as Best Actor, as the gay film director James Whale, in Bill Condon's 1998 classic “Gods and Monsters”. Since he has starred in The Da Vinci Code”, “Mr Holmes”, “Beauty and the Beast”, with “CATS” yet to come.
His television work stretches from “Rasputin” to “Coronation Street”, from “Extras” with Ricky Gervais to “Vicious” with Derek Jacobi. On the first ever Film On Four, McKellen was in Stephen Frears' “Walter” and last year played “The Dresser” with Anthony Hopkins.
McKellen has been an innovator on the Internet, with one of the earliest official sites for an actor, www.mcKellen.com, launched on September 1, 1997. In 1999 he began publishing a series of journal entries that evolved into one of the earliest non-technical blogs. His followings on social media connect more than 10 million fans.
In 1991, Sir Ian was knighted for services to theatre in UK. He was co-founder of Stonewall UK, which lobbies for legal and social equality for gay people. In 2008, the Queen appointed him Companion of Honour (CH), for his services to Drama and to Equality.
ATG PRODUCTIONS is committed to supporting and creating the very best in British theatre. This Autumn the Group will open the highly acclaimed and much anticipated West End transfer of “Caroline, or Change” starring Sharon D. Clark. Currently playing in the West End is a presentation with the Jamie Lloyd Company of “Pinter and the Pinter”, showcasing on an unprecedented scale the writer’s 20 short plays starring, amongst others, David Suchet, Tamsin Greig, Martin Freeman, Jane Horrocks, Myra Syall and Danny Dyer who appear across the season. These productions will be followed by a new production of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5 the Musical” opening at the Savoy Theatre from January 2019.
Recent work includes the Chichester Festival Theatre’s “King Lear” starring Ian McKellen at the Duke of York’s Theatre; “Glengarry Glen Ross” at the Playhouse Theatre, starring Christian Slater; “Sunday in the Park with George” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford at the newly restored Hudson Theatre on Broadway; a new production of “Big Fish the Musical” starring Kelsey Grammer; the West End transfer of Robert Icke’s “Hamlet”, starring Andrew Scott and “Oresteia” starring Jessica Brown Findlay and Lia Williams in co-productions with the Almeida Theatre and Sonia Friedman Productions; and the London production of Tony Award-winning play by JT Rogers, “Oslo”, starring Toby Stephens and Lydia Leonard which opened at the National Theatre and then transferred directly to the Harold Pinter Theatre last year.
ATG Productions has a commitment to presenting high quality work across the UK. In 2019 ATG will open national tours of “Abigail’s Party” starring Jodie Prenger, Daniel Casey and Vicky Binns as well as “Glengarry Glen Ross” starring Mark Benton and Nigel Harman. Recent touring plays include “Strangers on a Train”, Victorian thriller “Gaslight”, starring Kara Tointon, Keith Allen and Rupert Young, Noël Coward’s comedy “Private Lives”, starring Tom Chambers and Charlotte Ritchie and “East Is East” starring Pauline McLynn. Recent musical productions and co-productions include the multi-Olivier Award-winning musical, “Sunny Afternoon”, with music and lyrics by Ray Davies, book by Joe Penhall and direction by Edward Hall in a co-production with Sonia Friedman Productions; “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”, Monty Python’s “Spamalot” and “Jersey Boys”.
Other recent productions in the UK have consisted of a series of collaborations with the New Group including Sam Shepard’s gothic masterpiece “Buried Child”, starring Ed Harris in an Olivier Award-nominated performance; acerbic new comedy, “The Spoils”, written by and starring BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated Jesse Eisenberg; as well as the playwriting debut of internationally acclaimed actor Matthew Perry (“Friends”, “The Odd Couple”) in the world premiere of “The End of Longing”.
ATG Productions also presented the phenomenally successful Jamie Lloyd Company (JLC) series at Trafalgar Studios and the Duke of York’s Theatre, which combined pertinent programming and accessible pricing with the aim of developing a new, more diverse theatrical audience. The radical reworking of classic works that were central to this season included “Doctor Faustus” (Duke of York’s) starring Kit Harington; “The Maids” starring Uzo Aduba, Zawe Ashton and Laura Carmichael; “The Homecoming” starring John Simm, Gary Kemp and Keith Allen; “The Ruling Class” and “Macbeth” starring James McAvoy; “East Is East” starring Jane Horrocks; “Richard III” starring Martin Freeman; “The Pride” starring Hayley Atwell; and “The Hothouse” starring Simon Russell Beale and John Simm (Trafalgar Studios).
West End musical productions have included the musical adaptation of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (Savoy Theatre and UK tour), directed by award-winning choreographer Jerry Mitchell, with book and lyrics by David Yazbek and Jeffrey Lane, starring Robert Lindsay and Katherine Kingsley. In 2015 ATG Productions reunited with Lane and Yazbek on the stage adaptation of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” (Playhouse Theatre), Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film of the same name starring Tamsin Greig and Haydn Gwynne.