McKellen wizardry for Christchurch theatre
Sir Ian McKellen will exercise his wizardry to raise funds for the repair of Christchurch's historic Isaac Theatre Royal.
The British actor, currently in the country to film Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, will take a one-man stage show throughout New Zealand in May and June.
He will play in Christchurch's Aurora Centre on June 2.
Proceeds will be donated to the earthquake-damaged Isaac Theatre Royal's fundraising campaign to cover the building's $500,000 policy excess and $5.5 million repair costs.
McKellen's The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit wizard character, Gandalf, will be in the limelight for the show's first half as the actor discusses how he became involved with the films. He will also hold an audience question-and-answer session.
In the second half, McKellen, one of the most acclaimed Shakesperean actors of his generation, will discuss the plays, films and roles he has been involved with, interrupted by the occasional speech and soliloquy.
The show will finish with members of the audience being invited to "play" dead French soldiers while McKellen delivers a stirring final speech.
Once the curtain falls, he has indicated, he might stand at the door with a bucket to collect impromptu donations for the Gloucester St building.
Signed posters and photos will be on sale.