(seen at the afternoon performance on 27th October 2019)
This is a chance to see a theatrical legend celebrate his 80th in a unique way -
and the 3 hours flew. Without spoilering too much, the first half is
autobiography, leavened with a few famous characters - yes, and "Lord of the
Rings" props and some audience interaction. The second is more audience
interaction, mostly about Shakespeare and as fascinating as the first.
Once past the "Lord of the Rings" stuff (monkey isn't a fan, hasn't read the
books nor seen the films) about which the monkey had no clue, the rest is a
diverting ramble through life and career - with some painful moments about the
theatrical people and places we have lost. The monkey was enthralled.
Still and on the other hand, Sir Ian McKellen is a true actor, and if the monkey
is honest, it did feel that a fair bit of the show comprised many, many "actor's
tricks." McKellen knows how to play himself on a stage, to do what the public
love, and command with a gesture. It's wonderful... but a few times the monkey
had to admit it was feeling the word "fake" and ashamed to be thinking it. After
all, he is "being Ian McKellen," not actually the person, but his public
persona, and that is what we are paying for.
Still, anyone who chucks high-quality wrapped fudge sweets into the monkey lap
does get an extra star for that (very tasty, wonder where they buy it?).
A chance to see a legend, so grab it.