SIR Ian McKellen is celebrating his 80th birthday next year with a new solo show which will play on 80 stages across the UK - including Lighthouse Poole.

The acting legend is using the tour as an opportunity to raise money for the nation’s theatres. All profits will benefit specific causes at each venue and tickets will be accessibly priced.

Sir Ian says: “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.”

He adds: “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.

“I was last onstage in Poole with the RSC’s small scale tour of Twelfth Night and Three Sisters 40 years ago. I’m delighted to be back as I revisit other theatres up and down the UK. All profits will benefit The Lighthouse aptly named Poole’s Centre For The Arts.”

Proceeds will go towards Bright Sparks, a programme that inspires talented people to develop professionally in a range of roles across the arts sector.

Ian McKellen’s one man show visits Lighthouse at 7.30pm on Tuesday, July 2. To book tickets, visit