Sir Ian McKellen has said the last major professional achievement he would like to conquer is starring in a musical.
Speaking on this morning’s BBC Radio 4 Today program, the 82-year-old legend of British theater, who was promoting his new detective play Whodunnit (Unrehearsed), said he “doesn’t have much to prove anymore” but being in a musical is “one of the few areas left.”
Questioned on whether he can sing, McKellen said: “I can hold a tune but I’m not a proper singer,” before adding jokingly: “I’m available but incompetent.”
McKellen played Widow Twankey in the pantomime version of Aladdin at London’s Old Vic and starred as Gus in Tom Hooper’s Cats, an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End musical.
“I don’t feel I have much to prove in my career anymore so why not just do the things I enjoy doing, like getting in front of an audience and entertaining them,” added the Lord of the Rings and X-Men star.
“Playing the detective” was McKellen’s other desire and he is soon to fulfil this dream in Whodunnit (Unrehearsed), in which stars such as McKellen, Emma Thompson and Gillian Anderson will take to the stage having just moments before the curtain’s raised been told they’re playing the role of the detective.
They will be fed lines through an ear piece and the audience will be unaware which actor is playing the detective until he or she appears.
The actors are offering up their services for free to help save North London’s Park Theatre, one of many that has struggled due to the impact of the pandemic. The theatre needs to raise £300,000 ($404,000) to stay float.