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VIDEO: Ian McKellen Talks Playing HAMLET at Theatre Royal Windsor

Following Hamlet, McKellen and the cast will perform Martin Sherman's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's classic play, The Cherry Orchard.

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Ian McKellen is set to play Hamlet at Theatre Royal Windsor later this year. The age-blind production is notable because the role is usually played by an actor under 40.

McKellen talked with BBC about the upcoming role.

"I have played Gandalf, who was over 7,000 years old, no-one said I was too young," he joked. "I can't pretend I'm 20, no one's going to believe it. But I can feel that I'm 20."

He does feel that he has an advantage going into this role.

"When I was starting out as a young actor I often played old men when I didn't know what it was like to be old," he said. "But being old, I do remember what it's like to be young."

Watch the full interview below:

The new production of Shakespeare's Hamlet, directed by Sean Mathias with Ian McKellen in an age-blind interpretation of the young Prince, is set to begin performances 21 June at Theatre Royal Windsor.

Following the run of Hamlet, the same cast will then move on to Martin Sherman's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's classic play, The Cherry Orchard. Performances will run September 10 - October 21, 2021.

The cast of Hamlet and The Cherry Orchard also includes Ben Allen, Francesca Annis, Steven Berkoff, Emmanuella Cole, Llinos Daniel, Alis Wyn Davis, Ashley D Gayle, Nick Howard-Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Asif Khan, Lee Knight, Missy Malek, and Jenny Seagrove

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Ian McKellen made his long overdue debut at Theatre Royal Windsor last year in his acclaimed solo show. He was heralded that year as the most important actor in British theatre. Over the years he has worked with Sean Mathias consistently, most recently in WAITING AND GODOT and NO MAN'S LAND with another friend, Patrick Stewart. Mathias directed him as Uncle Vanya at The National Theatre and is looking forward to a further Chekhov journey. McKellen's performances in Shakespeare are legendary, from Macbeth with Judi Dench to his film of RICHARD III with Maggie Smith. He played Hamlet on tour and in the West End nearly fifty years ago and is looking forward to the challenge of a return visit.

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