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Ian McKellen to have theatre named after him in Edinburgh

The theatre is located at Saint Stephens, where McKellen played Hamlet this summer

Ian McKellen in Hamlet
© Devin De Vil

Sir Ian McKellen is to have a theatre named after him at Saint Stephens in Edinburgh, where he performed as Hamlet at this year's Fringe.

The dance version of Hamlet, in which McKellen performed the character's famous speeches and soliloquies alongside lead dancer Johan Christensen, was a sold-out hit, seen by a record-breaking 13,000 people.

The production inaugurated the 450-seat Ashton Hall at Saint Stephens, a new all-year performance venue in the Scottish capital from dance producer, director and choreographer Peter Schaufuss, named after famous choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton.

Schaufuss, who directed and choreographed Hamlet, said: "Since the Fringe ended we have created a second 300-seat theatre underneath the Ashton Hall and I am delighted to announce that Ian has accepted our offer to name the venue in his honour."

The new venue will be named The Ian McKellen Theatre at Saint Stephens.

The Ian McKellen Theatre

Ashton added: "The beanie hat [McKellen] wore in each performance of Hamlet was auctioned after the show, raising £12,000 to support a bursary fund bearing his name that will now help future young dance students at Edinburgh Festival Ballet School. Now his involvement with our company will live on in this new all-year-round performance venue for Scotland."

McKellen responded: "Peter Schaufuss' unique contribution to Edinburgh's cultural life, during and beyond the annual festival, is now enhanced by his new theatre at Saint Stephens. I am honoured that it will bear my name."