From the time he was 17, McKellen was publishing his observations on the world of theatre, particularly plays by Shakespeare.

1956-57: Reports from Stratford

To contradict the guide-books, disillusion the Americans, and state the obvious, every wall in Stratford-upon-Avon is not half-timbered, nor is every roof thatched. Read More

1970: Shakespeare's Histories

Shakespeare's "History Plays," even those which deal with the relatively recent past, like Henry VIII, are not accurate history. Although Richard III is often reviled for slandering the real king, the other histories are popularly admired for their pageant quality — our greatest poet spinning the yarn of our national heritage. Read More

1974: Company Report from New York

January 14, 1974: Final preparations of our new production of King Lear in energy-starved rehearsal-rooms. Read More

1974: Jean-Louis Barrault

Ian McKellen reviews Memories for Tomorrow; The memoirs of Jean-Louis Barrault. Read More

1975: The Test of Time

In the theatre, a role is more durable than any of the actors who may make their reputations playing it. Read More

1976: A Distant, Fabled Place: Ian McKellen's Vision of Stratfords Past and Present

In November 1955, I saw John Gielgud's last Lear in Manchester. When the mad king fed toasted cheese to an invisible mouse, the woman in front of me giggled and I hit her on the hat. Read More

1978: Small Scale Touring

Ever since the middle-ages, when the earliest drama, growing out of the liturgy, left the Church to parade on carts outside, actors have been on the road. Read More

1979: On Macbeth

The 1606 production by the King's Men was early in the reign of their patron James I of England - not only VI of Scotland and descendant of Banquo but also author of a treatise against witches. Read More

1981: I Always Wanted To Be On Broadway

Exactly a year ago, I arrived in New York to start rehearsing for Amadeus. Now, as I prepare to leave the play and the city, this month also marks my 20th anniversary as a professional actor. Read More

1982: Tears in Bratislava: Richard II in Czechoslovakia

Any play, even one by Shakespeare - even a success, which our Richard II certainly was - any play can pall for the actors who have to repeat it night after night after matinee. Read More

1982: On Acting Shakespeare

An interview from Shakespeare Quarterly. Read More

1990: My Favourite Films

I'm always very scathing about actors who don't go to the theatre, but I'm one who doesn't go to the cinema very much . . . Read More

1990: What are the Osteopaths like in Cairo?

After seeing Bent, everyone assumes I must be exhausted. I often am. . . Read More

1990: McKellen and his foot-soldiers take Richard III on the Road

The National is not as well known outside this country as the Royal Shakespeare Company," said Ian McKellen, who is about to lead a National Theatre company around the world. "In fact, it's not easy to explain to people what its identity is. They think the RSC is our national theatre. Read More

1990: Richard III Tour

We began with a summer season in London and a tour of the United Kingdom. Read More

1991: When Poverty Begets Pride

After six months on the road and in the air, our company from the Royal National Theater is back home in London. Read More

1992: Shakespeare Comes to Broadmoor

Foreword by Ian McKellen. Read More

1992: Acting Richard III

Richard Burbage, the actor-manager who first played William Shakespeare's heroes, had his earliest triumph as Richard III. Read More

1994: Sir Ian Goes Solo

Introducing A Knight Out. Read More

1995: Blank Verse

I'm glad at last we're going to do this film. Three years has been a long, long time to wait. But now I thought I should sit down and try to clarify what blank verse means to me; Read More

1996: The Awful Hell of Stage Fright

Stephen Fry's generosity is only one of his many endearing virtues. Read More

1997: Christmas Entertainment

I shall spend this season of over-indulgence not eating at home but being eaten at work. Read More

2002: Foreword to "The Making of The Lord of the Rings"

The day The Lord of the Rings opened at the Embassy Cinema in New Zealand's capital, Wellingtonians woke to discover that overnight their city had been renamed by government decree. Read More

2008: London Theatregoing

One of the joys of not working is being able to see others at work. Read More

2009: Waiting for Godot in London (and Broadway)

As I write, Waiting for Godot is opening on Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre's production by Anthony Page ... Read More

2010: The Chekov I Love

Chekov supersedes earlier playwrights, by not writing heroes and villains and not needing rhetoric or verse to dramatise humanity. His actors never have to jump the obstacles of under- or overwriting. Read More

2011: UK Postage Stamps honour Royal Shakespeare Company

David Tennant as Hamlet, Antony Sher plays Prospero, Chuk Iwuji plays Henry VI, Paul Schofield as Lear, Sara Kestelman plays the fairy queen Titania, Ian McKellen and Francesca Annis play the doomed lovers, Romeo and Juliet on a new set of stamps from Royal Mail.
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2011: David Weston "Covering McKellen"

David Weston showed me an early draft of what is now called Covering McKellen: An Understudy's Tale, at the end of the Lear/Seagull productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company in which he understudied me.
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