NO MAN'S LAND
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Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart Star in Broadway-Bound NO MAN'S LAND at Berkeley Rep, Now thru 8/31

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Tony Taccone informed the guests that legendary actors Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will perform at Berkeley Rep in a pre-Broadway engagement of No Man's Land. Award-winning director Sean Mathias stages Harold Pinter's masterwork in the Roda Theatre for an exclusive and strictly limited run in August.

No Man's Land plays only 34 performances at Berkeley Rep. It starts previews tonight, August 3, opens on August 11, and plays until August 31. Tickets are on sale now to Berkeley Rep's donors and subscribers to its 2013-14 season; the public can access seats beginning on May 19.

"It is a great honor to welcome these gentlemen to our stage," Tony Taccone says. "I'm sure audiences will be as excited as I am to see these spectacular actors and their eminent director take on such a formidable script. I'm enormously proud that Berkeley Rep has developed a reputation as a supportive place where artists of this caliber can share their newest ambitious work with our audience."

"I have many reasons, professional and personal, to care about San Francisco," Ian McKellen remarks. "I was last there with The National Theatre's Richard III, when I lodged with Armistead Maupin and his partner. As Magneto, I bestrode the Golden Gate Bridge and flew it to Alcatraz. It's high time I playEd Berkeley Rep, and I'm so pleased to be doing that at last in No Man's Land (my first professional Pinter) and in such distinguished company." Patrick Stewart agrees: "I am delighted to be performing at Berkeley Rep and look forward to living in and discovering the city and its surroundings."

"How thrilling to direct my first Pinter play and to do that for Berkeley Rep," adds Sean Mathias. "I have always felt an affinity for San Francisco and its cultural values, and I know how important the theatre is to you in this part of the world. I am delighted to come and discover the delights of Pinter with the Berkeley Rep audience. I am sure the great author and his No Man's Land will seduce us all."

"The influence of Mr. Pinter, whose masterworks include The Homecoming (1964) and No Man's Land (1974), cannot be underestimated," asserts the New York Times. "He was rightly perceived to be the heir to Samuel Beckett, who was his friend and mentor. Like Beckett, Mr. Pinter created worlds profoundly comic and tragic, in which meaning is never fixed, memory lies and people are betrayed not just by one another but also by their own minds."

In No Man's Land, we wonder if two writers really know each other. Or are they performing an elaborate charade? The ambiguity - and the comedy - intensify with the arrival of two other men, drawing the audience into a place between the present and time remembered, between reality and fantasy. Since its premiere in 1975 and its acclaimed London revival in 2008, No Man's Land has been hailed as one of Pinter's "indisputable modern classics" (Telegraph). Now these terrific actors take on this towering drama, first for Berkeley Rep audiences and then on Broadway, where it will be performed in repertory with Waiting for Godot.

The Guardian says, "The play is a masterly summation of all the themes that have long obsessed Pinter: the fallibility of memory, the co-existence in one man of brute strength and sensitivity, the ultimate unknowability of women, the notion that all human contact is a battle between who and whom. It is in no sense a dry, mannerist work but a living, theatrical experience full of rich comedy in which one speech constantly undercuts another."

Ian McKellen made his Broadway debut in The Promise in 1967 and won the Tony Award for his performance in Amadeus in 1981. Patrick Stewart first appeared on Broadway in Peter Brook's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1971 and won the Drama Desk Award for A Christmas Carol in 1992. The two actors have appeared together on stage twice before: in the 1977 premiere of Tom Stoppard's Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and the 2009 revival of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, also directed by Sean Mathias. "There are Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart - who played superhuman archenemies in the X-Men films - being as heartbreakingly human and co-dependent as an old married couple," the New York Times wrote in its review of Godot. They "were must-see names of the London classical repertory long before they entered more crowd-pleasing chapters in their careers." In addition to their work on stage, the pair are known for their performances in major motion pictures, among them The Lord of the Rings (McKellen), Star Trek: The Next Generation (Stewart), and, together, X-Men. Both have received knighthoods for their services to drama and the performing arts.

Sean Mathias has received global acclaim from Northern Ireland to New Zealand, from the West End to Broadway. He has earned an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, a Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival, a London Critics' Circle Award, and an Evening Standard Award as well as nominations for the Olivier and Tony Awards. He was artistic director of the Theatre Royal Haymarket for 2009-10 where he staged Waiting for Godot, starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and the debut production of Breakfast at Tiffany's. His production of No Man's Land features set and costume design by Stephen Brimson Lewis (twice Tony-nominated for Indiscretions) and lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski (a Tony Award winner for Contact and The Producers).

Additional casting for the production will be announced at a later date. No Man's Land will be presented in repertory with Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot on Broadway presented by Stuart Thompson Productions and NOMANGo Productions at the end of October, 2013.

Berkeley Rep's season producers are Martha Ehmann Conte, Wayne Jordan and Quinn Delaney, Marjorie Randolph, Jack and Betty Schafer, and the Strauch Kulhanjian Family. BART and Wells Fargo serve as the official sponsors of Berkeley Rep's season for the eighth consecutive year - and now the San Francisco Chronicle has signed on as a season sponsor as well.

Tickets to No Man's Land range from $35 to $135 (subject to change). Subscribers to Berkeley Rep save $5 on every ticket. Additional savings are available for groups, seniors, students, and anyone under 30 years of age - meaning discounted seats can be obtained for as little as $17.50. The Roda Theatre is located at 2015 Addison Street, near bus lines, bike routes, and parking lots - and only half a block from BART. For tickets or information, call (510) 647-2949 or click berkeleyrep.org.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed more than 300 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. This will be the 28th show in the last 26 years to move from Berkeley Rep to New York. Four have transferred to London, four have turned into films, and others have toured the nation. 2013 also marks the Theatre's first forays into Asia; Chinglish just sold out its run in Hong Kong and American Idiot heads for Tokyo and Seoul this spring. Its bustling facilities - the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the 400-seat Thrust Stage, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Osher Studio, and a spacious new campus in West Berkeley - are helping revitalize a renowned city. See tomorrow's plays today at Berkeley Rep.

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