Theatre heavyweights Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are heading to the North East.
Following their sell-out appearances in Waiting for Godot in 2009, the acting greats are set to return to the region to star in Sean Mathias’ acclaimed production of No Man’s Land, which comes to Newcastle Theatre Royal from August 15-20.
The Harold Pinter masterpiece will embark on a UK tour in August before heading into London’s West End, where it will play a limited 14 week engagement at the Wyndham’s Theatre.
Directed by Sean Mathias, this production of No Man’s Land received rave reviews at the Cort Theatre in New York whilst in repertory alongside Waiting for Godot, also starring stage and screen friends, McKellen and Stewart and directed by Mathias.
The production of Waiting for Godot had transferred from London where it celebrated a sell-out run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, the last time these masters of British theatre shared a West End stage.
No Man’s Land tells the story of two ageing writers, Hirst and Spooner, who meet in a Hampstead pub and continue their drinking into the night at Hirst’s stately house nearby.
As the pair become increasingly inebriated, and their stories increasingly unbelievable, the lively conversation soon turns into a revealing power game, further complicated by the return home of two sinister younger men.
Patrick Stewart, who plays Hirst, said: “I saw the original production of No Man’s Land three times in one week at Wyndham’s Theatre and would have seen it more if I could have afforded the tickets. I made a promise to myself that one day I would play Spooner or Hirst but to be doing it back at Wyndham’s with Ian McKellen was a fantasy I never entertained.”
Ian McKellen, who plays Spooner, said: “Playing Spooner to Patrick’s Hirst on Broadway was a constant joy, which is why I am delighted to be back with him in the UK.”
The pair starred together to critical acclaim at Newcastle Theatre Royal in Waiting for Godot in 2009.
Ian, famed for his many performances with Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as his film roles including Magneto to Patrick Stewart’s Xavier in the X-Men movies, said: “It’s a wonderful city with wonderful audiences. When the RSC in the 1970s were looking for a third home beyond Stratford and London, I said to Trevor Nunn ‘have you considered Newcastle?’ And partly as a result of that conversation the RSC did go to Newcastle and I went with them. So I feel like it’s going home to go to Newcastle.”
Further casting for No Man’s Land will be announced closer to the time.
Priority tickets can be booked from March 15, with general booking open from March 21.