Today Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake announced that it would be holding a ballot for tickets for ‘Ian McKellen On Stage’ – McKellen’s solo show which will play on 80 stages across the UK, including the Main House at Theatre by the Lake on 20 August 2019.
The ballot, which can be entered online from the theatre’s website or via a paper form which can be picked up from the Box Office or downloaded from the website, will be open for two weeks from Monday 28 January until Monday 11 February, with entrants being drawn following the closing date. In a move to recognise the loyalty of the theatre’s regular audience and supporters, one third of the theatre’s available seats will be weighted towards regular attenders, supporters and Friends of Theatre by the Lake, giving them a higher chance of being successful in the ballot. Tickets allocated through the ballot will be limited to two to ensure as many people as possible get to enjoy this unique event.
Keswick’s theatre has also changed their normal terms and conditions to ensure that ticket touts don’t capitalise on the special performance. Those successful in the ballot cannot re-sell or reallocate their tickets to others. Tickets for the event will not be posted out but held at the theatre until the day of the event and only exchanged to those with matching ID.
Tickets are priced at £55 (with £45 bar stools), with an allocation of complimentary tickets offered to a range of local community groups. All profits from this special performance will raise funds to benefit TBTL’s work supporting local communities, through initiatives such as their schools programme, Young and Elders Companies, and Setting the Scene workshops for people living with dementia and their carers.
Rachel Swift, Head of Communications at Theatre by the Lake said: “We’re delighted that Ian has included us in his birthday tour. As might be expected, we’ve experienced huge interest in tickets for his show, and we felt the fairest way to manage the expected demand is via a ballot system. There will undoubtedly be a number of disappointed people as it’s very likely that demand will outweigh availability, but we hope that people understand that we are doing our best to be as fair and even-handed as possible. We’d encourage anyone interested in tickets to sign up to our e-newsletter and follow us on social media to receive reminder notifications when the ballot opens and ahead of it closing.”
The tour is in celebration of McKellen’s 80th birthday and aims to raise funds for the host theatres.
It begins this January with a tour of London from the National Theatre to the Theatre Royal Stratford East, as well as performances in the West End and outer London. Then, across the country, he will visit theatres large and small with which he has personal connections, including amateur groups he knew as a child and notable playhouses he has played in as a professional actor over the last half-century.
His intimate show is a mixture of anecdote and acting, including Tolkien, Shakespeare – and the audience themselves.
The tour finishes on 15 September, with his Theatre by the Lake date being one of his final performances.
Ian McKellen 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. In-between there will be anecdotes and acting. Live theatre has always been thrilling to me, as an actor and in the audience. Growing up in Lancashire, I was grateful to those companies who toured beyond London and I’ve always enjoyed repaying that debt by touring up and down the country myself, with the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Prospect Theatre, the Actors’ Company, as well as with commercial productions. Sean Mathias, the director and I have worked together for stage and screen, many happy times.
As a theatre-mad lad in Lancashire I used to see the travelling Century Theatre, which ended up permanently on Derwentwater. So my début here is in gratitude for those long-ago productions and for the other times when I have seen the company at work in Keswick. The Lake District is my favourite part of the country, which is another reason I wanted to bring you my new show.”
To find out more about the show please visit www.theatrebythelake.com/Ian-McKellen. The ballot for tickets will open on Monday 28 January and will close on Monday 11 February, with successful entrants being contacted shortly after this date. A special link to the ballot will be emailed out to the theatre’s email list as well as being promoted on social media and the web page for the show on the 28 January. In addition a paper form of the ballot can be either picked up from the theatre’s Box Office or downloaded online from www.theatrebythelake.com/ian-mckellen (available from 28 January).