Stage and screen icons Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart make a welcome return to Newcastle this August, with the pair reprising their roles in Harold Pinter’s 1970s classic, No Man’s Land.
Directed by Sean Mathias, this production of No Man’s Land was well received in New York whilst in repertory alongside Waiting for Godot, also starring McKellen and Stewart and directed by Mathias.
No Man’s Land tells the story of two ageing writers, Hirst and Spooner, who 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.
The show will tour the UK in August before heading to the Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End.
Patrick Stewart, who plays the role of 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 adds: “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 UK.”
It was back in 2009 when the thespians last took to the stage together at Newcastle Theatre Royal, when they starred in the critically acclaimed Waiting for Godot.
“It’s a wonderful city with wonderful audiences,” McKellen comments. “When the RSC in the 1970s were looking for a third home beyond Stratford and London, I said to Trevor Nunn ‘have you considered Newcastle?’ And partly as a result of that conversation the RSC did go to Newcastle and I went with them. So I feel like it’s going home to go to Newcastle.”
No Man’s Land runs from 15 to 20 August 2016 at Newcastle Theatre Royal. For more information, visit www.theatreroyal.co.uk.
Image: Luke Fontana