Sir Ian McKellen coming to Wigan for hometown theatre show

Sir Ian
Sir Ian

December 10 is the date that bidders will find out whether they landed a prized ticket to see Sir Ian McKellen at Wigan Little Theatre

The acclaimed thespian is to give two performances at the compact venue next May as part of his 80th birthday tour.

Sir Ian chose WLT because it was as a boy, when he was being brought up in Wigan, that he enjoyed his first theatrical experience there.

Last Wednesday online applications for the 420 available tickets were opened and anyone interested in attending have until November 28 until the bids close.

The first night’s allocation will give priority to members (that means paid up volunteers at the theatre, not Facebook members).

The second night’s allocation will be made up of any remaining members, a number for current season ticket holders and the larger remaining number made up of all others registered.

A WLT spokeswoman said: “Wigan Little Theatre is delighted with the response to Sir Ian’s anticipated one man show.

“The process for allocation by lottery was decided upon because as a small venue, we have a maximum number of seats of 420 over two nights.

“Everyone who is successful will be notified from the December 10. We will be opening the box office on selected days after that date and the following week. Successful applicants will be required to pay and pick up their tickets on these days in person and will need to bring some proof of Identity.

“We are pleased to say that Sir Ian has given all the profit from the ticket sales to WLT, which is a charitable, voluntary organisation. “A Sir Ian McKellen fund will be set up which will provide training and workshops for everyone, whatever area of the theatre they give their time to.”

The one-man show comes to Wigan on May 13 and 14.

When the tour was announced, Sir Ian said: “I’m celebrating my 80th birthday by touring a new solo show to theatres I know well and a few that I don’t.

“The show starts with Gandalf and will probably end with an invitation to act with me on stage. Inbetween there will be anecdotes and acting.

“Live theatre has always been thrilling to me, as an actor and in the audience. As a boy in the 1940s, I saw my first Shakespeare at Wigan Little Theatre – and loved it.

“So in my new show there will be Shakespeare and memories of growing up in Wigan, where I first acted and discovered the delights of theatre, amateur and professional. It’s also a chance to inspect my star in Wigan’s Believe Square!”