Sir Ian McKellen and other star guests at Lyme Regis Marine Theatre’s anniversary celebration show

PUBLISHED: 09:55 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:47 19 July 2019

Ian McKellan. Picture: John Puckey

Ian McKellan. Picture: John Puckey

John Puckey

Sir Ian McKellen performed a one-man show at Lyme Regis’s Marine Theatre as part of a series of events to celebrate the arts venue’s 125th anniversary. The tour also marks the actor’s 80th birthday.

Ian Gillan with John Puckey from the Marine Theatre. Picture: Simon EmmettIan Gillan with John Puckey from the Marine Theatre. Picture: Simon Emmett

The show, on Wednesday July 3, also featured guests including Sir Tom Stoppard and Deep Purple's singer Ian Gillan, who is a patron of the Marine.

The performance included readings of poetry and Tolkien, scenes from Shakespeare, and fascinating anecdotes from the much-loved actor's career. On stage Sir Ian produced Glamdring, the sword from Lord of the Rings used by Gandalf, one of his signature film roles.

One of the aims of the evening was to raise money for the venue. Sir Ian took no fee and the money raised will be used to relaunch a youth theatre project and to restore the dressing rooms.

Gabby Rabbitts, Director of the Marine, said: "Sir Ian's performance will not be forgotten—his talent, generosity, and friendliness are moving. It was a reminder that one of the reasons to visit the theatre is to watch superb acting. Thanks to all the local businesses who helped with the event or sent gifts to Sir Ian, in particular Simon Emmett, The Royal Lion, Kathrens Knitwear, Dorset Cereals, and Groves Nurseries."

Sir Tom Stoppard. Picture: Simon EmmettSir Tom Stoppard. Picture: Simon Emmett

Sir Ian McKellen said "Live theatre has always been thrilling to me, as an actor and in the audience. I'm delighted to be making my debut in Lyme Regis as part of the UK tour celebrating my 80th birthday. I'm pleased that all profits will support the youth theatre and help update the Marine's dressing rooms."

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