Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart (Photo: REX/Jonathan Hordle)
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart (Photo: REX/Jonathan Hordle)

Ian McKellen makes London stage return

Published December 18, 2014

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will star in a new West End production of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land as part of Playful Productions’ fifth anniversary celebrations.

The much-rumoured production, dates for which are still to be announced, will mark The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit star McKellen’s first return to the London stage since Sean Mathias’s 2009 production of Waiting For Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, in which he also appeared alongside Stewart.

X-Men and Star Trek actor Stewart was seen on the London stage more recently than his forthcoming co-star, having played the role of William Shakespeare in the Young Vic’s 2012 production of Bingo.

Together the legendary pair has won a staggering nine Olivier Awards. Stewart has taken home the much-sought-after prize for his roles in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Antony And Cleopatra, and for his staging of A Christmas Carol, while McKellen doubles Stewart’s haul of prestigious accolades, having taken home statuettes for his performances in

Bent, Wild Honey, Pillars Of The Community, The Alchemist and Richard III. He was also awarded the Special Award at 2006’s Olivier Awards ceremony for his outstanding contribution to the London stage.

Exploring the sense of being caught in limbo between life and death, No Man’s Land tells the story of a rich and famous belle-lettrist who invites a down-at heel-poet who he meets in a pub back to his house for a drink. The play was last seen in the West End in 2008, when it starred Michael Gambon, David Bradley, David Walliams and Nick Dunning at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

The announcement of the highly anticipated production comes with news of other future plans for Playful Productions, which include the staging of a new play by David Hare, a star-studded musical revival in collaboration with Chichester Festival Theatre and five new play and musical commissions.

Playful Productions’ recent successes include the West End transfers of Conor McPherson’s The Weir and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, and the Broadway transfer of The Audience starring Dame Helen Mirren. The production company also recently announced a new production of David Mamet’s American Buffalo. Starring Homeland’s Damian Lewis, the production will play at the Wyndham’s Theatre next April to coincide with the company’s fifth birthday.

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