Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, McKellen said that older actors had been hit particularly badly by the pandemic, knowing that these years would have been some of their last spent performing.
“This year has been very hard,” he said. “I think you’d get the same from Maggie Smith or Judi Dench – the thought of not working is horrifying.
“Because we’re getting to the end of our lives, to be robbed of the last few years of that capability is hard.”
McKellen received his Covid vaccine in December, describing his reaction as “euphoric”.
Under current government guidelines, theatres can reopen with social distancing in place from 17 May.
Capacity limits for indoor entertainment are yet to be announced. Before lockdown was reintroduced in December, theatres could operate at seating capacities of 50 per cent or 1,000 tickets, depending on which was lower.
You can find The Independent’s comprehensive guide to all the plays, musicals and comedy shows reopening in May and June here.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies