An Interview with Ian McKellen


Q: What brings you to Vancouver?

IM: I am here filming in British Columbia, the sequel to X-Men and a local feature directed by Carl Bessai.


Q: Why did you decide to do this show for Vancouver Playhouse?

IM: I have seen quite a bit of theatre here from drag queens miming in gay bars to Elton John and Dame Edna but the most impressive by far was Robert Lepage's solo show at the Vancouver Playhouse. This is obviously an asset to local theatregoers and I wanted to help.


Q: What's the show about?

IM: It's about me and the audience. A group of strangers meeting in a semi-dark place . . . I hope there will be some laughs. I devised a show with the same title to talk about developing as an actor and as a gay man. Its first outing was in 1994 for the Gay Games in New York which coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Later I went around United Kingdom and South Africa with an anthology programme of reminiscence and chat and performance.

I expect it will be the same on November 10th though perhaps it will be more of a conversation. I'll do some acting too - Shakespeare if required. ?


Q: Will we be seeing a bit of Magneto or Gandalf on stage?

IM: I very much doubt it: they are far too busy filming.


Q: Is it a "gay" show or of more general interest?

IM: That rather depends on who turns up. Something for everyone is my motto.


Q: Will we see you at the special reception after the show?

IM: That's the idea — all in the service of the Vancouver Playhouse, ever in need of more funds.


Q: Any plans for additional performances of A KNIGHT OUT or other stage appearances in Canada? Elsewhere?

IM: No this is it. A definite one nighter. I last worked in Canadian theatre in 1984, in an earlier solo show Acting Shakespeare in Ottawa and Toronto. I've always been conscious of Canada's theatre because of my admiration for Tyrone Guthrie and John Neville and Christopher Plummer.


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