Ian McKellen is to tour a one-man show, Ian McKellen On Stage, across the UK in 2019 to celebrate his 80th birthday and raise money for theatres.
Beginning in January 2019 with a tour of London, which includes dates at the National Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East, McKellen will then visit theatres all over the country. Some of the venues he will play he has personal connections with, including amateur groups he knew as a child and notable playhouses he as performed in over his career.
All profits will benefit specific causes at each theatre and there will be accessibly priced tickets available.
The piece is a mix of anecdotes and acting including from Tolkien, Shakespeare and others as well as the audience.
McKellen commented: "I'm celebrating my 80th birthday by touring a new solo show to theatres I know well and a few that I don't. The show starts with Gandalf and will probably end with an invitation to act with me on stage. In-between there will be anecdotes and acting. I open at my local arts centre in January and end up by August in Orkney."
Venues included on the tour are The Space on the Isle of Dogs, Above the Stag, Queen's Theatre Hornchurch, Ipswich New Wolsey, Theatr Clwyd, Belgrade Theatre, The Dukes in Lancaster and Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts. The tour will finish in the Olivier at the National Theatre on 15 September.