Sir Ian McKellen will celebrate turning 80 in May next year with a tour of theatres in major cities like Liverpool and Manchester as well as lesser known spaces in Orkney and Lyme Regis.
The actor has spoken about how regional theatre launched his career as he prepares to embark on an 80-date tour of the United Kingdom.
Profits and his wage from his show, Ian McKellen On Stage, will go to the theatre, with the actor suggesting each space spend the money on whatever it needs, “whether it’s painting the dressing rooms or putting in new seats or supporting youth groups”.
Sir Ian, who was born in Bolton, Greater Manchester, said watching regional theatre had given him his first taste of the stage.
The actor, who was knighted in 1991, is best known for playing Shakespearean roles and as Gandalf in the Lord Of The Rings film series.
He will begin his tour on January 25 next year at The Space on the Isle of Dogs. The London stretch of the tour will take in the National Theatre and the LGBT-forward Above The Stag Theatre.
He will also perform at venues with which he has personal connections, including the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, where he first took to the stage in a production of A Man For All Seasons.
His act will encompass his wide-ranging career and include anecdotes, acting and audience participation.
Cheap tickets will be available at each show and Sir Ian said he hoped young people would be in the audience at every stop.
Ian McKellen On Stage will tour from January 25 to September 15 next year.