Sir Ian McKellen hates to let an audience down; so when he had to cancel a performance of “King Lear” this past Saturday, he made up for it by treating the audience to an impromptu 90-minute Q&A.
The legendary actor was scheduled for a matinee performance of the Shakespeare classic, in which he plays the titular role, at The Duke of York’s Theatre on Saturday. However, he injured his leg on the way to the venue while rushing for a train.
Unable to stand for the entire play, the Olivier Award-winning actor had to call off the performance but rather than let the theatregoers go home disappointed, he took a chair onto the stage, sat down and answered questions for 90 minutes.
McKellen talked to the sold-out theatre about his career, the “Lord of the Rings” franchise, his love for the theatre, and even performed a number of Shakespearean monologues off the top of his head.
When asked about his favourite “non-Shakespearean character,” the 79-year-old immediately answered, “GANDALF”, and also told a story about the making of the films:
He also talked about his acting gripes, particularly the use of microphones in the theatre, explaining that they “get in the way of connecting with the audience.”
At the end of the Q&A, McKellen invited his fellow cast members onto the stage for a curtain call, which the audience gave a standing ovation.
McKellen later said sorry on Twitter, writing, “repeated apologies to Saturday’s audience who missed Lear and got just me instead.”