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THM/357 - Sir Ian McKellen, actor: papers
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Sir Ian McKellen, actor: papers

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This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357
Dates of Creation 1967-2007
Name of Creator Sir Ian McKellen
Language of Material English
Physical Description 35 files

Scope and Content

This collection consists of scripts and one set of story boards for theatre, film and television productions and also audio recordings of live theatre performances.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ian McKellen was born on 25 May 1939 in Burnley, England. He acted in school plays, for instance playing Malvolio in Twelfth Night and each summer he attended his school's camp at Stratford-upon-Avon, where he saw performances by Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Charles Laughton, Peggy Ashcroft, John Gielgud and Paul Robeson. He won an exhibition to read English at St Catherine's College, Cambridge, where he appeared in many undergraduate productions. After graduation in 1961 he went on to appear as Roper in A Man for All Seasons at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. As well as a long career acting on stage, television, radio and film he has also directed several productions as well as co-writing and co-producing the film of Richard III.

He has played many of the leading Shakespearean roles including Henry V, Henry VI, Richard II, Richard III, King Lear, Hamlet, Romeo, Macbeth and Coriolanus as well as in works by Christopher Marlowe, Anton Chekov, Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw and August Strindberg. He has worked many leading contemporary writers and directors such as Alan Ayckbourn, David Hare, Iris Murdoch, Harold Pinter, Mark Ravenhill, Tom Stoppard, Richard Eyre, Sir Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn and Franco Zeffirelli. In 1971 he founded the Actors Company with Edward Petherbridge. He has performed in fifteen plays at the National Theatre and was appointed to the board in 1998. He was the Cameron Mackintosh Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University in 1991.

In 1981 he played the lead role in the film Walter which was first shown on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2 November 1982. In 1998 he appeared as James Whale in Gods and Monsters and amongst other film roles has played Magneto in three X-Men films and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He has also appeared in the television programmes Coronation Street and Tales of the City as well as playing himself in Extras and The Simpsons. Amongst many awards he has received a Tony Award, four Olivier Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award, as well as twice being nominated for an Academy Award and also for an Emmy.

In 1988 he publicly came out as a gay man during a BBC Radio 3 discussion about Section 28 of the Local Government Act, which made illegal the public 'promotion of homosexuality.' He helped to found Stonewall, a UK lobby group for the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. He was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979 and knighted in 1990. In 2007 he was appointed Companion of Honour (CH) for services to Drama and Equality.

Arrangement

This material has been arranged chronologically in the following series:

  • THM/357/1 - Scripts
  • THM/357/2 - Audio material

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday between 10.15 am and 4.30 pm. Access to it is by appointment only. To request an appointment please email tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7942 2698.

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level.

Conditions Governing Use

Archive material may not be photocopied. Arrangements can be made to photograph material in the reading room using non-flash photography.

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Sir Ian McKellen, 2008.

Custodial History

This material was received by the V&A direct from the donor.

Related Material

See also V&A Department of Theatre & Performance Core Collections: material relating to Sir Ian McKellen may be found in several collections, including Theatre and Performance production files, his biographical file and photographs. Please ask for details.

Subjects

Actors - Great Britain

Personal Names

McKellen, Ian

Corporate Names

National Theatre (Great Britain)

Cataloguing Info

Title Sir Ian McKellen, actor: papers
Sub-title Catalogue of records in the V&A Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance
Author Catalogued by Vaila Holbourn
Revisions

Scripts

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1
Dates of Creation 1970-2003
Physical Description 28 files

Scope and Content

Scripts and one set of story boards for plays, television and films featuring Sir Ian McKellen, often annotated by him and sometimes signed by other members of the cast.


Play script for Billy's Last Stand by Barry Hines

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/1
Dates of Creation 1970
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for Billy's Last Stand written by Barry Hines, directed by Michael Wearing at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London from 30 June 1970. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of Darkly played by Ian McKellen.


Play script for The Three Arrows by Iris Murdoch

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/2
Dates of Creation 1972
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for The Three Arrows written by Iris Murdoch, directed by Noel Willman, by the Cambridge Theatre Company with the Actors Company at the Arts Theatre Cambridge from 17 October to 11 November 1972. Script annotated briefly with notes about the production and the character of Prince Yorimitsu played by Ian McKellen.


Play script for The Marquis von Keith by Frank Wedekind

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/3
Dates of Creation 1974
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for The Marquis von Keith written by Frank Wedekind, translated by Alan Best and Ronald Eyre, directed by Ronald Eyre, by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Aldwych Theatre, London from 19 November 1974. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of the Marquis of Keith played by Ian McKellen. Script is marked 'July 1974'.


Play script for Ashes by David Rudkin

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/4
Dates of Creation 1975
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for Ashes written by David Rudkin, directed by Ron Daniels, at the Young Vic, London from 11 June 1975. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of Colin played by Ian McKellen.


Play script for Too True to Be Good by George Bernard Shaw

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/5
Dates of Creation 1975
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for Too True to Be Good written by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Clifford Williams, by the Royal Shakespeare Company, at Aldwych Theatre, London from 23 October 1975 and at the Globe Theatre, London from 2 December 1975. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of The Burglar / Aubrey Bagot played by Ian McKellen.


Play scripts for The Alchemist by Ben Jonson

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/6/1-2
Dates of Creation 1977
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Two annotated play scripts for The Alchemist written by Ben Jonson, edited by Peter Barnes, directed by Trevor Nunn, by the Royal Shakespeare Company, at the Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon from 19 May to 18 June 1977 and Aldwych Theatre, London from 29 November 1977 to January 1978. Both scripts are annotated with notes about the production and the character of Face played by Ian McKellen. THM/357/1/6/1 is missing the first five pages and the last five pages. It has hand written changes to the script, which appear in typescript in THM/357/1/6/2.


Play scripts for Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by Tom Stoppard

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/7/1-2
Dates of Creation 1977
Physical Description 2 files

Scope and Content

Two annotated play scripts for Every Good Boy Deserves Favour written by Tom Stoppard with music by Andre Previn, directed by Trevor Nunn, by the Royal Shakespeare Company, at the Royal Festival Hall, London from 1 July 1977. Both scripts are marked 'March 1977' and are annotated with notes about the production and the character of Alexander played by Ian McKellen. Typescripts appear to be similar except that THM/357/1/7/2 has had some pages photocopied and cut up to join together speeches by Alexander.


Play script for Pillars of the Community by Henrik Ibsen

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/8
Dates of Creation 1977
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for Pillars of the Community written by Henrik Ibsen, directed by John Barton, by the Royal Shakespeare Company, at Aldwych Theatre, London from 27 July 1977 to 10 December 1977. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of Karsten Bernick played by Ian McKellen. The first two pages appear to be missing.


Film script for Priest of Love (1981)

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/9
Dates of Creation 1979
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated film script for Priest of Love screenplay by Alan Plater, based on The Priest of Love: A Life of DH Lawrence by Harry T Moore and the writings and letters of DH Lawrence, directed by Christopher Miles. Script briefly annotated with notes about the production and the character of DH Lawrence played by Ian McKellen. This script is marked 'Second Draft November 1979'. The film opened in the USA on 11 October 1981 and in the UK in January 1982.


Film script for Walter (1982)

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/10
Dates of Creation 1981
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated film script for Walter written by David Cook, directed by Stephen Frears. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of Walter played by Ian McKellen. This script is marked 'Third Draft 29.12.81'. This script is for both Walter and the sequel Walter and June, which were shot together and are sometimes shown as one film called Loving Walter. Walter was first shown on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2 November 1982 and Walter and June on 26 May 1983.


Film script for The Keep (1983)

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/11
Dates of Creation 1982
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated film script for The Keep written and directed by Michael Mann. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of Dr Theodore Cuza played by Ian McKellen. This script is marked 'Second Draft 8/9/82' and includes re-writes of the ending from 15 November 1982. Also a note from Paramount asking Ian McKellen to fill in a form about insurance. The film was released in the USA on 16 December 1983.


Play script for The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/12
Dates of Creation 1985
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for The Duchess of Malfi written by John Webster, directed by Philip Prowse, at Lyttelton Theatre, National Theatre, London from 4 July 1985 and at the Blackstone Theatre, Chicago for the Chicago International Theatre Festival from 28 April to 4 May 1986. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of Bosola played by Ian McKellen.


Play script for The Critic by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/13
Dates of Creation 1985
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for The Critic written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, directed by Sheila Hancock, at the Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, London from 12 September 1985, at the Theatre de L'Europe, Odeon, Paris from 18 to 23 February 1986 and at the Blackstone Theatre, Chicago for the Chicago International Theatre Festival from 14 to 25 May 1986. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of Mr Puff played by Ian McKellen.


Film script for Scandal (1989)

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/14
Dates of Creation 1988
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated film script for Scandal written by Michael Thomas, directed by Michael Caton-Jones. Script annotated briefly with notes about the production and the character of John Profumo played by Ian McKellen. This script is marked 'Draft 5, 11th May 1988'. Includes a call sheet which has a list of which costumes are to be worn for different scenes on the reverse. This film was released in the UK on 3 March 1989 and the USA on 28 April 1989.


Play script for Henceforward. . . by Alan Ayckbourn

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/15
Dates of Creation 1988
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for Henceforward. . . written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, at the Vaudeville Theatre, London from 16 November 1988. Script annotated with notes about the production and the character of Jerome played by Ian McKellen. The first page appears to be missing.


Play script for Richard III by William Shakespeare

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/16
Dates of Creation 1992
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated play script for Richard III written by William Shakespeare, directed by Richard Eyre, at Lyttelton Theatre, the National Theatre, London from 20 to 26 May 1992 and a US tour of the Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 9 to14 June 1992; Opera House, Kennedy Centre, Washington D.C., 23 June to 19 July 1992; Ordway Music Theatre St. Paul, 21 July to 8 August 1992; Buell Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 11 to 16 August 1992; Curran Theatre, San Francisco, 19 August to 13 September and Royce Hall, University of California, Los Angeles, 15 to 27 September 1992. Script briefly annotated with notes about the production and the character of King Richard played by Ian McKellen. This script is marked 'Accurate 20.4.92'. Also one page in different typescript of 'Now is the winter of our discontent...' speech.


Television script for Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (1993)

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/17
Dates of Creation 1993
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated television script for A rmistead Maupin's Tales of the City written by Richard Kramer, directed by Alastair Stewart. Ian McKellen played the character of Archibald Anson Gidde in Episode Three. Script signed by cast members including Ian McKellen on the page where their character first speaks. Script is marked 'January 28, 1993' and also contains revisions from 22 February 1993. The television programme was shown in the UK from 8 May 1993 and in the USA from 10 January 1994.


Film script for Six Degrees of Separation (1993)

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/18
Dates of Creation 1993
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated film script for Six Degrees of Separation written by John Guare, directed by Fred Schepisi. Script annotated briefly with notes about the production and the character of Geoffrey Miller played by Ian McKellen. Script marked '25 January 1993' and includes revisions from 28 and 29 January and 1, 3, 9, 18 and 22 February 1993 on different coloured paper. Script signed by John Guare, Fred Schepisi, Donald Sutherland, Stockard Channing, Will Smith and Ian McKellen on front page. Also call sheet for filming on 17 March 1993, including various Irish references to mark St Patrick's Day. The film was released in the USA on 8 December 1993 and in the UK on 2 June 1995.


Film script for Jack and Sarah (1995)

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/357/1/19
Dates of Creation 1993
Physical Description 1 folder

Scope and Content

Annotated film script for Jack and Sarah written and directed by Tim Sullivan. Script annotated briefly with notes about the production and the character of William played by Ian McKellen. Script marked '5th draft, 9th September 1993'. Also includes page from the Telegraph magazine with image of man in homeless hostel putting on a suit, also loose torn last page of script with notes on William's scenes. The film was released in the UK on 2 June 1995 and in the USA on 22 March 1996.