Schoolboy Acting

June 1950- June 1958

King Henry V"My acting began early and continued mostly at school. At Bolton School (1951-58) there were a number of lads who did as much acting as I did and, voracious theatre-goers, also went on the annual camp to Stratford-upon-Avon for the Shakespeare Festival. My best friends, David Hargreaves and Duncan Sculthorpe, and I were stage-struck and could alarm our peers by high-stepping routines across the playground. We all went to Cambridge, where Hargreaves ended up as Professor of Education. Sculthorpe wrote a classic study on aquatic plants. Motives other than acting itself sent me into the theatre."

— Ian McKellen, December 2006

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The Plays

YearPlaceTitle/WriterDirector/Role
1950Wesleyan Hall
Wigan

CHILDREN'S DAY
Vera I Arlett

ROLE: Father


1952Hopefield Miniature Theatre

TWELFTH NIGHT Extract (1952)
William Shakespeare

ROLE: Malvolio


1952Bolton Little Theatre

SPRING 1600
Emlyn Williams

ROLE: Jeremy


1952Hopefield Miniature Theatre

LES MEURTRES CHEZ LE COIFFEUR
Strachan Turnbull

ROLE: Mari de la Dame
1953Bolton School Great Hall

FRIAR BACON & FRIAR BUNGAY (1953)
Robert Greene

ROLE: Margaret


1953Bolton Little Theatre

PARADISE PERPLEXED
F Sladen-Smith

ROLE: Ticukapelli


1953Bolton Little Theatre

THE HOPEFUL TRAVELLERS
G-M Martens & A O Bey

ROLE: Demon


1953Bolton Little Theatre

THE WONDER HAT
Kenneth Sawyer Goodman & Ben Hecht

ROLE: Pierrot


1953Hopefield Miniature Theatre

THE BEAUTY CONTEST
L Roe & G A C Sawtell

ROLE: Rosie


1954Bolton School

THE STARS BOW DOWN
Gordon Daviot

ROLE: Asnath, the High Priest's daughter


1954Hopefield Miniature Theatre

DOCTOR FAUSTUS (1954)
Christopher Marlowe

ROLE: Wagner


1955Bolton School

THE STORY OF RAHMAN
Alan Cullen

ROLE: Attendant


1955Bolton School

OTHELLO (1955)
William Shakespeare

ROLE: Montano


1956Bolton School

HENRY IV PART 2 (1956)
William Shakespeare

ROLE: Prince Hal


1956Chorley Old Road Congregational Hall

ESCAPADE
Roger McDougall

ROLE: L W Daventry


1957Bolton School

HENRY V (1957)
William Shakespeare

ROLE: Henry V


1958Bolton School

THE STRONG ARE LONELY
Fritz Hochwaelder

ROLE: Alfonso Fernandez


1958Bolton Little Theatre

TWELFTH NIGHT (1958)
William Shakespeare

ROLE: Sebastian


1958Bolton Middle School

MACBETH, ACT V (1958)
William Shakespeare

DIRECTOR: Ian McKellen
ROLE: Producer/Director


 

Next:
October 1958 - August 1961
Cambridge University Undergraduate Productions

Stage Index

Plays by Title

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