Hello Guys, the following is a full report on the Audience with Sir Ian McKellen on Sunday 4th May;
The first star of the evening was the venue. This was the first time that I had visited The Space, and found out that it used to be a chapel for sailors around the Isle of Dogs, which has since been converted into a performance space for the local community. The result is a really intimate setting, ideal for a show such as last nights. Many of Ian’s personal posters of theatre productions, photos – including one of Gandalf with a tank you from Peter and Fran decorated the walls.
We were in for a real treat.
Mr McKellen arrived arms full to bust with book’s and goodies, which were handed out during the evening as prizes to those who were the fasted to answer questions thrown out to the audience. Ian started by talking about the Lord of the Rings, and as if by magic produced various props used in the films. There was one of the lizard door handles from Saruman’s Orthanc set, the normal sized keys of bag end which Ian used, and the large scale keys that Ian Holm and Elijah used. There was also a knife, fork and spoon set again both in regular and large scale sizes. To the audiences astonishment they were handed out to be passed back and forth for all to look at. Although such small details in the films, the workmanship and detail was top notch.
When talking about, and answering questions on his role as Gandalf, Ian read two extracts from the fellowship of the ring, the first was from a ‘Long Expected Party’ and the second from ‘The Bridge of Khazard-dum’. The reading of the second passage was fantastic, every essence of Gandalf’s spirit was on display, commanding the hairs on the back of the audiences necks to stand to attention when he shouted ‘You cannot pass!’. Ian read from his copy of the book that he used on set, and told us that this was stuffed into Gandalf the Greys costume when shooting scenes – so if you see a bulge in Gandalf’s pocket you know what it is.
A young lady who had travelled from America asked Ian what the situation was with the possible Hobbit TV serial. Ian told the audience that he had suggested to New Line that a full translation of the hobbit could be possible, aired on TV and spanned over a year, the young lady replied by saying that that was why she was here, and had a full screen play drafted for Ian to look at. The young lady did indeed show her work to Ian at the end of the evening, who knows, maybe the Hobbit is closer than we think.
Ian told us that he is due to return to New Zealand for 4 weeks of ADR, re-shoots and two new scenes that Peter and Fran have penned for Gandalf.
Ian also discussed his part in the X-Men films, and his long and illustrious stage career with the RSC.
The evening closed with a small auction to raise funds for The Space and an autograph signing. Ian had so much time for everyone, writing an Autograph or posing for a photo was no trouble at all, he even threatened to show us his tattoo. Brian Sibley also attended and was as always very approachable. All in all the evening was very informal, everyone was relaxed and everyone appeared to have enjoyed the evening leaving happy.