Ian McKellen Stage
Claudio
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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (1962)

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Graham Crowden
Ian McKellen in the role of Count Claudio
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
6 March 1962 - 19 March 1962

Words from Ian McKellen

"My first professional Shakespeare. I managed the Elizabethan costume well enough (after years of training in school and university classics) but despite discovering Claudio's boyish ego, I wasn't much happy at my first attempt at one of those tricky Shakespeare juveniles that stump most young actors - Ferdinand, Benvolio, Florizel, Sebastian are parts I'm glad not to have had to play.

"David Warner (a rather wooden Conrade) was later a sensational Henry 6th and Hamlet for Peter Hall at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

"Graham Crowden, the Scottish actor who arrived to direct us, was particularly impatient of any thing unprofessional, like unpunctuality or stubbing cigarettes out on the stage floor."