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Review Round-Ups

Did critics think Ian McKellen was magnetic on stage in the West End?

Reviews are in for the story of McKellen's extraordinary life on stage and screen

Ian McKellen
© Frederic Aranda

Alex Wood, WhatsOnStage

★★★★★

"It's a night unlike any other you'll get in the West End, and without bells, whistles or tricks, an embarrassment of riches. McKellen is one of a kind and a gift to our performing industry – only a fool of a Took would miss this gem of an evening."


Heather Neil, The i Paper

★★★★★

"Reviewing Ian McKellen on Stage is, in one sense, like appraising Mount Everest: he is a phenomenon. In another sense, Sir Ian is not like that at all, going out of his way to be available to the adoring patrons filling the theatre, apparently enjoying every minute of up to three hours, from a jokey Gandalf-geared beginning to shaking a collecting bucket at the door as the audience leave."


Nick Curtis, Evening Standard

★★★★★

"His impressions of Olivier, Gielgud and Michael Gambon are dead on, the anecdotes wry and succinct. There's none of the indulgence that often marks this kind of show. His fondness for Judi Dench – who wore a tea towel on her head in their landmark RSC Macbeth – and Patrick Stewart is palpable but restrained."

Ian McKellen
© Frederic Aranda

Tim Bano, The Stage

★★★★

"The performance, and the tour, is a wonderful act of generosity. And through all the stories of acting and activism, what emerges most poignantly is his deep devotion to theatre, whether it's fun-loving amateurs, the long-dead days of weekly rep or the storied stages of the West End."


Clive Davis, The Times

★★★★

"The grand old man really isn't grand at all. He may have a knighthood and a seat at Hollywood's top table, but one of the lessons of this captivating one-man show is that Ian McKellen still possesses a childlike sense of wonder at the life of an actor. All he cares about is sharing that passion with us, his audience."