Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are to reunite on stage this year in Harold Pinter’s masterpiece, No Man’s Land which will embark on a UK tour, opening in Sheffield from 3 August, followed by dates in Newcastle, Brighton and Cardiff. The production will then head into London’s West End where it will play a limited 14 week engagement at the Wyndham’s Theatre from 8 September with opening night for press on 20 September. No Man’s Land was first performed at the iconic Wyndham’s Theatre in 1975 with Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, following its premiere at the National Theatre.
Directed by Sean Mathias, this production of No Man’s Land received highly acclaimed reviews at the Cort Theatre in New York whilst in repertory alongside Waiting for Godot, also starring stage and screen friends, McKellen and Stewart and directed by Mathias. The production of Waiting for Godot had transferred from London where it celebrated a sell-out run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, the last time these masters of British theatre shared a West End stage.
One summer’s evening, two ageing writers, Hirst and Spooner, meet in a Hampstead pub and continue their drinking into the night at Hirst’s stately house nearby. As the pair become increasingly inebriated, and their stories increasingly unbelievable, the lively conversation soon turns into a revealing power game, further complicated by the return home of two sinister younger men.
Patrick Stewart (Hirst) says: “I saw the original production of No Man’s Land three times in one week at Wyndham’s Theatre and would have seen it more if I could have afforded the tickets. I made a promise to myself that one day I would play Spooner or Hirst but to be doing it back at Wyndham’s with Ian McKellen was a fantasy I never entertained.”
Ian McKellen (Spooner) says: “Playing Spooner to Patrick’s Hirst on Broadway was a constant joy, which is why I am delighted to be back with him in the West End.”
Further casting has yet to be announced for No Man’s Land which will have set and costume design by Stephen Brimson Lewis and lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski.
Multi award-winning Ian McKellen has had a 55 year long career on stage and on screen. For the Royal Shakespeare Company he has played Romeo, Macbeth, Iago and King Lear and at the National Theatre, in productions of Coriolanus, Richard III, Uncle Vanya and The Seagull. He gained his first Oscar nomination for Gods and Monsters and his second for Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is Magneto to Patrick Stewart’s Xavier in the X-Men movies, Richard III and most recently Mr Holmes.
Multi award-winning Patrick Stewart has numerous notable stage credits to his name including Anthony and Cleopatra, The Tempest, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, The Master Builder and his acclaimed solo adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Known world-wide as Captain Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Professor X in the X-Men franchise, his additional film and TV credits include the 2009 TV movie adaptation of Hamlet alongside David Tennant, Ahab in Moby Dick, Ricky Gervais’ Extras, the new US comedy series, soon to be seen on UK TV, Blunt Talk, the soon to be released thriller Green Room as well as Wilde Wedding with Glenn Close and John Malkovich.
British film and theatre director, writer and actor, Sean Mathias has been a long-time collaborator with McKellen having directed him in numerous theatre roles including Uncle Vanya, Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death, Waiting for Godot (alongside Stewart) and Bent which he later directed on film, winning the ‘Prix de la Jeunesse’ award at the Cannes Film Festival. Other notable West End and Broadway theatre credits include Design for Living, Anthony and Cleopatra, The Elephant Man, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, A Little Night Music, Company and Les Parents Terribles which went on to be nominated for nine Tony Awards on Broadway under the title Indiscretions.
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
First performance Wednesday 3 August 2016
Last performance Saturday 13 August 2016
For full details either visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk or call: 0114 249 6000
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
First performance Monday 15 August 2016
Last performance Saturday 20 August 2016
For full details either visit www.theatreroyal.co.uk or call: 0844 811 2121
Theatre Royal, Brighton
First performance Monday 22 August 2016
Last performance Saturday 27 August 2016
For full details either visit www.atgtickets.com/brighton or call: 0844 871 7650
New Theatre, Cardiff
First performance Monday 29 August 2016
Last performance Saturday 3 September 2016
For full details either visit www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk or call: 02920 878889
Wyndham’s Theatre, London
First performance 8 September
Last performance Saturday 17 December
Photo: Luke Fontana