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Dench and McKellen back new theatre company for older actors

Company founder James Roose-Evans wants to stop actors becoming 'invisible' in later years

Judi Dench during the NT 50th gala
(© National Theatre)

A new theatre company backed by Judi Dench and Ian Mckellen has been launched to showcase the work of older actors.

Founded by James Roose-Evans, who established the Hampstead Theatre and wrote the play 84 Charing Cross Road, the Frontier Theatre company is announcing its inaugural season tonight.

According to its website, Frontier has been set up to "give voice to the old, and to show how this period in life is as vibrant and exciting as any other."

Roose-Evans, 87, told the Independent that many actors in their 60s, 70s and 80s "become invisible", and he was inspired to do something to redress the balance.

As well as productions and readings the company will offer workshops led by figures including former Orange Tree artistic director Sam Walters and playwright Ray Cooney, who's a patron.

Other patrons include Dench, McKellen, Vanessa Redgrave and Mike Leigh, who worked with Roose-Evans at Hampstead Theatre.

Frontier is headquartered at 6 Frederick's Place in east London, in a building that includes a 60-seat studio theatre.

The first season will include productions of Beckett's Come and Go, Spring and Winter by Susan Hill and two Strindberg plays.