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. Cause UK has been representing The Civic for two years to help raise fund for it’s #ConnectCampaign.
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
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
About Ian McKellen
Ian 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.
Photo credit: Oliver-Rosser, Feast Creative.