“The last time I was on stage in New Zealand was at the Isaac Theatre Royal in Waiting for Godot,” he said. “I love this beautiful old theatre and want to help restore it as soon as possible.”
According to McKellen, several props from his 2010 performance at the Isaac survived the earthquake.
"They've been preserved and they've survived the earthquake and that's very touching, and I suppose symbolic of something."
Already in New Zealand filming Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, McKellen will perform fourteen one-man shows across the country on weekends during the months of May and June.
On June 2, he will perform in Christchurch’s Aurora Centre; in the show’s first half, he will discuss how he became involved with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films and hold a question-and-answer session with the audience. In the second half, he will discuss the other plays and films he has involved himself with. As the show winds down, members of the audience will be invited to “play” dead French soldiers as McKellen delivers his final speech.
Each of his performances (chat, reminiscence, gossip, and performances) will be conceived in part by his audience.
“It's only me. No performing dogs, no hobbits. Just Ian McKellen. But the byline is with Tolkien, Shakespeare and you, you being the audience."
Tickets for Ian McKellen on Stage are $50 adults and $25 students/children (plus service fees) and will go on sale to the public beginning Friday, April 13. Additionally, signed posters and photos will be on sale.