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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
Ian McKellen in the flesh
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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 5 2012, 11:09am

Post #1 of 29 (890 views)
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Ian McKellen in the flesh Can't Post

I have just come back from seeing the first one-man show in Sir Ian's tour of New Zealand, which is a fundraiser for repairing the earthquake-damaged Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch (were he last played Waiting for Godot).

How do I sum up more than two hours of Sir Ian on stage?

For a start, he is a wonderfully generous person - both in his acting and in his engagement with the audience. At one point, he gave a Shakespeare monologue while walking and running along both aisles in the audience. (I had an aisle set and he went right passed me!)

His charm is palpable, and he clearly is delighted to be on stage and chatting with an audience. He loves *people*.

Ian started with a reading from The Fellowship of the Ring, from when the Fellowship has fled the Chamber of Mazarbul and is running to the Bridge of Kazad-dum, to the appearance of the Balrog and the fall of Gandalf. He even brought along Glamdring - "It's made of aluminium and won't cut a thing - come on up if you want to hold it" - and used it as a prop during the reading. (He had a tiny panic when, after about a dozen members of the audience had come up to hold the sword, he thought someone had walked off with it. "I have to get this back to Peter.")

He then answered several questions from the audience, which ranged from why he chose Cambridge University over drama school to how he approached playing Magneto. "It wasn't really me raising the cars with my hands..."

To a question about whether he preferred the immediate response of a live audience over the delayed response to film work (to which the answer was yes), Ian described an early scene from working on The Hobbit. To get the perspectives of tall Gandalf with shorter Dwarves and Hobbit right, there is a lot of green screen work. To start with, all actors are on the same set while they rehearse. When it comes time to film, Ian is taken to another set - all in green - where he will act to pictures of the Dwarf and Hobbit actors. Each set is filmed by a camera, which are slaved so that they move simultaneously, and everyone acts the scene at the same time. Ian's only way of knowing who in the other set is talking is by some lights flashing above the actor's photo on his set. He said it was a very lonely way of acting, and his mutters about it were picked up by everyone linked to his microphone. To make Ian feel better about it all, PJ worked his magic - and the next morning Ian turned up to his changing room to find it had been transformed into a version of Rivendell with lots of props. :)

He had a lot of kind things to say about working with Judi Dench on stage. She pulled his butt out of the fire the one and only time he has had stage fright and couldn't complete a scene: Judi realised what was happening and delivered both her and his lines until the scene was done.

I think he said that earlier this year he marked his 50th year as a professional actor.

The show included a reading by William Wordsworth, and the second half was given over to performances from half a dozen Shakespeare plays (including scenes from both Romeo and Juliet).

One thing that struck me was his voice: Ian has beautiful diction, and can project his voice well in a theatre. (There was no sound amplification used tonight.)

At the end of the show he encouraged further donations for the Isaac Theatre Royal, and stood at the stairs leading outside to farewell everyone, sign programmes and have photos taken.

What a charming, generous and humorous man he is.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Nightingale
Rohan


May 5 2012, 2:59pm

Post #2 of 29 (523 views)
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Thank you for such a detailed account [In reply to] Can't Post

He really is a wonderful actor. I will witter about his latest 'KIng Lear' to anyone that will stand still long enough Smile.
He walked right past me then too. His wails when Cordelia died almost had the physical force of a blow to the heart, and the play was the best performance of any kind I have ever seen.




"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me" - C. S. Lewis

"That line between the earth and sky came beckoning to me..." - Laurie's Song


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 5 2012, 3:30pm

Post #3 of 29 (516 views)
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Wonderful! [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds like you had an evening to remember. Thank you for the detailed description. Sir Ian seems to be a genuine, warm person, and I'm glad your impressions are the same.


Lissuin
Tol Eressea


May 6 2012, 12:04am

Post #4 of 29 (578 views)
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I did get tickets for the Wellington performance, [In reply to] Can't Post

which isn't until June 23. Should any of us who go to other cities put a report on it here or start a new Off Topic thread?
Your report is what I knew we could expect from Sir Ian. He seems a very generous soul.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 6 2012, 12:47am

Post #5 of 29 (502 views)
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I'm so glad you got tickets! [In reply to] Can't Post

Be sure to take a camera - you should be able to get a quick photo with him at the end of the night.

By the time the next shows come along this thread should be off the first page, so starting a new thread will be fine. (If it is still on the first page, just post a reply to it.) I'm looking forward to reading reports from his next shows. :)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Lissuin
Tol Eressea


May 6 2012, 6:51am

Post #6 of 29 (555 views)
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Short news article not as good as Ataahua's. [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/...mp;objectid=10803819

Nice photo, though.


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 6 2012, 2:19pm

Post #7 of 29 (504 views)
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Front page material here [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you should send that report in to Spymaster@TheOneRing.net!

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

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The cake is a lie

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Patty
Immortal


May 6 2012, 7:52pm

Post #8 of 29 (489 views)
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Wonderful. Thanks for this. Interesting to hear about his stage fright episode... [In reply to] Can't Post

only once? I'd undoubtedly be paralyzed by it all the time. What a blessing that the great Judi Dench was onstage with him. Neat that PJ was able to make him feel more connected during his filming scenes.

He sounds wonderful. I've always thought so, even when he was the evil Chauvelin in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Sly

Permanent address: Into the West






Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 6 2012, 8:40pm

Post #9 of 29 (514 views)
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Will do. And also, [In reply to] Can't Post

here is a longer review of Ian's show.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 6 2012, 8:52pm

Post #10 of 29 (502 views)
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Ian and Judi were in a play [In reply to] Can't Post

and one night after the show he and a friend went to a cafe where there were just two other people, one of whom was an actor that Ian admired. He listened in on their conversation and realised they had seen his play that night - then heard the actor disparage Ian's acting (not realising that Ian was in the room). The next night he was on stage again and came up to a monologue where he faces the audience, and he said the actor's words from the night before came back to him and he thought, "Everyone in this audience hates me", and the words just disappeared. He turned his back and walked to the rear of the stage because there was nothing else he could do, and that's when Judi stepped in and delivered all of the rest of the scene.

He said for the rest of the play's run, whenever he came up to that monologue again he and Judi would exchange a glance and he'd give a small nod as if to say, "I'm fine, I've got this".

He also said that as very good as she is on film, Judi's talents can be truly seen on stage.

As for Rivendell appearing in his changing room, I love PJ for that delightful thoughtfulness. :)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


(This post was edited by Ataahua on May 6 2012, 8:53pm)


Patty
Immortal


May 6 2012, 8:58pm

Post #11 of 29 (490 views)
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Good stuff. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting this anecdote.

Permanent address: Into the West






Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 7 2012, 5:20am

Post #12 of 29 (490 views)
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What a treat! [In reply to] Can't Post

And what a great report, Ataahua - thanks for that.

I was lucky enough to see Sir Ian's Lear some years ago, which was overwhelmingly great and marvellous, but this sounds a wonderfully intimate occasion.


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


Starling
Half-elven


May 7 2012, 8:03am

Post #13 of 29 (493 views)
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Hey, Ataahua, were you on telly tonight? [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoyed the item on Campell Live. I learned a bit about Stratford, somewhere I have never been. I was looking out for you but it was a little tricky since I don't know what you look like.Crazy

I can't wait to see him in Christchurch at the new Court Theatre. He had sold out at the original venue, but generously put on a second show. I am looking forward to seeing him, and checking out the new Court.

Thanks for your account. He is generous, isn't he. I will never forget how kind he was to the small but dedicated geeks who waited outside the Theatre Royal in the July cold after seeing him in Waiting for Godot. I feel really lucky to have seen him there, only two months before the first earthquake.


AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


May 7 2012, 1:35pm

Post #14 of 29 (425 views)
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Thanks for the report! [In reply to] Can't Post

And for the anecdote with Judi Dench. Glad you enjoyed yourself!



And suddenly the Tornadoes saw afar off a greenlight, as it were a cloud with a living heart of flame;
and they knew that this was no vision only, but that PJ had made a new thing: The Hobbit, the Film that Is.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 7 2012, 8:29pm

Post #15 of 29 (482 views)
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Yes I was! [In reply to] Can't Post

At the very end, when he was running up the stairs with the donation bucket in hand. :)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Patty
Immortal


May 7 2012, 8:32pm

Post #16 of 29 (455 views)
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Aha--we have a TV star on TORn! / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Permanent address: Into the West






Starling
Half-elven


May 7 2012, 8:38pm

Post #17 of 29 (458 views)
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Aha! [In reply to] Can't Post

I will have to go back and have another look online so I can do further investigations. Unless, of course, you post the item so we can all play.
Show yourself! Laugh


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 7 2012, 8:43pm

Post #18 of 29 (450 views)
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Here's the link: [In reply to] Can't Post

Ian McKellen's bit starts about 15min30s into the video.

I'm blink-and-you'll-miss-me, even if you knew what I looked like!

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Patty
Immortal


May 7 2012, 8:59pm

Post #19 of 29 (437 views)
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I had a problem accessing the video, but the guy advertising New Zealand wind... [In reply to] Can't Post

could sell me anything.Cool

I'll try again in a few minutes.

Permanent address: Into the West






Starling
Half-elven


May 7 2012, 9:28pm

Post #20 of 29 (453 views)
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Although that might depend [In reply to] Can't Post

on what kind of wind he is selling... Sly


Patty
Immortal


May 7 2012, 9:58pm

Post #21 of 29 (443 views)
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LoL! [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you see him? He's a dreamboat. But yeah, only the outside wind, please.

Permanent address: Into the West






Starling
Half-elven


May 7 2012, 10:01pm

Post #22 of 29 (437 views)
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I'm not sure which guy you mean [In reply to] Can't Post

Is it the Energywise guy? I saw him talking about saving petrol but there was no sign of wind.


silneldor
Half-elven


May 7 2012, 10:30pm

Post #23 of 29 (464 views)
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That was a joy! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank Ataahua. You and others had a supreme delight indeed. Smile

''Sam put his ragged orc-cloak under his master's head, and covered them both with the grey robe of Lorien; and as he did so his thoughts went out to that fair land, and to the Elves, and he hoped that the cloth woven by their hands might have some virtue to keep them hidden beyond all hope in this wilderness of fear...But their luck held, and for the rest of that day they met no living or moving thing; and when night fell they vanished into the darkess of Mordor.'' - - -rotk, chapter III

Faerie contains many things besides elves and fays and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are one in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted."
ó J.R.R. Tolkien

May the grace of ManwŽ let us soar with eagle's wings!

In the air, among the clouds in the sky
Here is where the birds of Manwe fly
Looking at the land, and the water that flows
The true beauty of earth shows
With the stars of Varda lighting my way
In all the realms this is where I stay
In the realm of ManwŽ Sķlimo

"The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't" - Richard Bach













Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 8 2012, 1:39am

Post #24 of 29 (447 views)
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The ad I saw was for beer. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not sure what these ads say about each of us...

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Patty
Immortal


May 8 2012, 2:07am

Post #25 of 29 (432 views)
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Okay, I'm seeing several ads now... [In reply to] Can't Post

The guy I'm talking about is talking about good and bad energy sources and their carbon footprints. He has on big red and white shoes.

I think they shift the ads.

Permanent address: Into the West





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