Acting Shakespeare

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Acting Shakespeare
Ian McKellen's poster for 'Acting Shakespeare'.jpg
Written by Ian McKellen & William Shakespeare
Date premiered 3 March 1980
Place premiered National Museum of Denmark
Original language English

Acting Shakespeare is a one-man show of Shakespearean monologues interspersed with theatrical anecdotes devised and performed by Ian McKellen. McKellen first performed the recital in Scandinavia in 1980 and later performed it throughout the world. It was broadcast by PBS in 1982. For the 1984 Broadway engagement, McKellen received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show and a Tony Award nomination. He received internationally rave reviews with some calling him "The new Olivier" and "The greatest classical actor of our generation". The most recent performance was in Jersey Opera House in 1990.

In 1993 McKellen developed another one-man show, 'A Knight Out' (using the play on word as a result of his being knighted in 1991) but this time focusing, as well as stage roles, his now ever increasing film roles. As with Acting Shakespeare he toured around England, Europe and America to great acclaim.

A predecessor of this show's format was Sir John Gielgud's Ages of Man (play) which consisted of Gielgud in front of an audience with a mixture of both speeches and anecdotes.

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