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Ian McKellen: Acting Shakespeare (1982)

Ian McKellen, alone on stage, with no props or scenery, performs monologues from Shakespeare and discusses some of his plays.

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Ian McKellen, alone on stage, with no props or scenery, performs monologues from Shakespeare and discusses some of his plays.

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26 April 1982 (USA)  »

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Sir Ian on a bare stage entertaining and instructive.
15 January 2005 | by (Connecticut) – See all my reviews

In 1982 Long before his incredible performances as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings, I discovered Royal Shakespeare Company member, Ian Mckellan on PBS in a little show called Acting Shakespeare. Entering a bare stage, in everyday clothing he delivered Jacques "all the worlds a stage speech from as you like it with all consummate skill and seriousness finished the soliloquy, and then confided he never much liked that particular comedy because it doesn't have enough jokes and the really good speech by Jacques is over used by people like himself to open their one man shows. From there Mckellan with impish wit and humor proceeded to discourse on the plays, his own relationship with the theater and speculates on how the young boy from Stratford found the theater and his calling as a writer. The show was great was story telling and an instructional guide to actors. The show was a comedy routine interwoven with some of the most compelling acting I'd seen in my young life. (Imagine a forty-ish Mckellan performing Juliet with out costume and pulling it off) Unfortunately, this show does not seem to have been released to video. Here's hoping that with the Mckellan's current surge in popularity, someone will unearth this gem and show the current generation, how much more there is to their "Gandalf".


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