Ian McKellen On Stage - Theatre Credits, Bio and Tickets

Sir Ian McKellen CH, CBE, was born in Burnley, Lancashire in 1939. He was drawn to the theatre from the age of three following a trip to Manchester's Opera House to see Peter Pan. At the age of 18 he attended St Catherine's College in Cambridge where he became a member of the Marlowe Society, his contemporaries included Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi.

After a period working in repertory theatres around the UK he became a member of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre Company in 1965. McKellen performed frequently in the Royal Shakespeare Company during the 1970s & 1980s, taking leading roles in Macbeth in 1976 alongside Judi Dench.

Outside of his theatrical work he is probably most recognised for his roles as Gandalf the Grey/White in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003), and Hobbit Trilogy (2012-2014) and as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto in the X-Men franchise (1999-Present). 

2007 marked a return to the RSC and to working wth Trevor Nunn appearing in productions of The Seagull and King Lear, both shows had a residancy at the New London Theatre following a world tour. In 2009 he appeared in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot along side his X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. They would go on to reprise their roles on Broadway in Godot in 2013, the production running in rep with No Man's Land by Harold Pinter.  

In September 2016 he and Stewart once again re-united on the West End Stage at the Wyndhams Theatre in No Man's Land which will played until December 2016 following a UK tour.  In October 2017, McKellen provided the voice of The Demon in the West End premiere of The Exorcist

In summer 2018, Ian McKellen played King Lear in a transfer of Jonathan Munby’s Chichester Festival Theatre. McKellen played the role in Chichester, and told the press it was likely to be his ‘last big Shakespearean part’. King Lear transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre. For his 80th birthday, he gave a nationwide tour filled with stories, anecdotes and monologues, including a three month run at the Harold Pinter Theatre. In 2021, he'll play Hamlet in an age-blind production at Theatre Royal Windsor, and will play Firs in The Cherry Orchard.

As Spooner in No Man's Land at Wyndham's Theatre 2016

As Estragon in Waiting for Godot at The Theatre Royal Haymarket 2009
Production photo by Sasha Gusov


As King Lear in King Lear at The New London Theatre 2007
Production photo by Manuel Harlan

As Widow Twankey in Aladdin at The Old Vic 2004
Production Photo by Manuel Harlan

Selected London & West End Stage Appearances

Show Role Theatre Year Link
King Lear Lear Duke of York's 2018 Tickets
No Man's Land Spooner Wyndhams 2016 News
Waiting for Godot Estragon Haymarket 2010 Review
Waiting for Godot Estagon Haymarket 2009 Review
The Seagull Sorin New London 2008 Review
King Lear King Lear New London 2007 Review
The Cut Paul Donmar 2006 Review
Aladdin Widow Twankey Old Vic 2005  
Aladdin Widow Twankey Old Vic 2004 Review
Dance of Death Edgar Lyric 2003 Review
Peter Pan Mr Darling / Captain Hook National 1997  
An Enemy of the People Dr Thomas Stockmann National 1997 Review


Previous shows Featuring Ian McKellen

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