Ian McKellen cancels King Lear performance after injury, treats audience to spontaneous Q&A instead

'The theatre was full of love and compassion'

Jacob Stolworthy@Jacob_Stol
Monday 06 August 2018 09:58
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Sir Ian McKellen extinguished theatregoers' disappointment after cancelling a performance of King Lear by treating them to a spontaneous Q&A instead.

The thespian, 79, was forced to cancel the Saturday matinee performance at The Duke of York's Theatre after sustaining a leg injury while running to catch his train. In a bid to quell the audience's upset, the Olivier Award-winning actor sat in the middle of the stage and answered questions for 90 minutes.

The production's cast and stage managers watched from the side of the wings as McKellen - who performed that evening - spoke at length about his career and “acted several Shakespeare scenes off the top of his head.”

Kirsty Bushell, who stars as Regan in the West End production, detailed how “he spoke for over an hour about his life, career and love of acting, in particular of Shakespeare, to a full house.”

Bushell wrote on Twitter: “It was utterly spontaneous, completely natural, and deeply touching. The theatre was full of love and compassion.”

After a full 90-minutes of answering questions, McKellen invited his fellow cast members onto the stage for a curtain call.

Posting to Twitter after the event, McKellen apologised to his audience "who missed Lear and got just me instead."

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