Hey folks, Harry here... Well it certainly sounds like Sir Ian had a rollicking good time with this Vancouver audience. Of course I've found in my experience with Ian at the few times I've been fortunate enough to be in the same proximity, that Ian seems to always be having a good time. He's a wonderfully delightful person that is just as cool as they come. One of the kindest and sweetest souls out there. I'm disheartened to hear about the X2 problems below and I hope they do not affect the film itself, which I hear is coming out tremendously. However, personally of the auctioned items, I would most want that Union Jack umbrella... reminds me of the Umbrella he held while riding Shadowfax in Minas Tirith during my visit all those years ago! Here ya go...
I've posted a few things in the past about stuff going on up in here in rainy Vancouver, thought you might like a little report on Ian McKellan's one man show - "A KNIGHT OUT".
Sir Ian McKellan has been in Vancouver since early June for shooting of X-Men 2 and he has entrenched himself in the local community and made many friends by attending all kinds of events both small and large with no personal gain. Truly an amazing spirit. Last night, as a fundraiser for The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre he put on his renowned one man show "A Knight Out" which hasn't been on stage in some five years. This was a one-off event which was only announced last week and with very little publicity. It was of course, a sell out!
Sir Ian made an hilarious entrance through the back of the auditorium wearing a Burberry coat and carrying an umbrella and a large Union Jack flag! He made his way onto a stage simply decorated with a lectern, an armchair, a small table and a curious line of 8 pairs of varying shoes! After auctioning off the baseball cap he was wearing for $100 he then playfully tried on the various shoes to find a good match, the audience cheering for the pair that was the best match. He picked up a very cool looking pair of white shoes and told the audience that they were the pair of shoes he wore as Magneto in the jail cell at the end of X-Men - "Who wants them?" The audience went nuts and bidding immediately went to $200 and some lucky kid in the front row got them as I seethed with envy and wished I had more coin...
For the next 90 minutes Sir Ian entertained the audience with stories from his life and several readings and Shakespearean monologues. The show was extremely loose in format and very informal which was quite refreshing, (as though he were inviting us into his living room for a chat). He told the audience that this wasn't really his "Knight Out" show and that he was just making it up as he went along - "...since we've got your money now, what do we care?" he said with a twinkle in his eye. Throughout the evening he often paused to allow the audience questions and these ranged from what he did to prepare for the role of Gandalf and questions about coming out with his sexuality.
The highlight of the evening was when he produced a copy of Lord of the Rings and asked if he could read for us. He then read the opening scene in The Shire up to Gandelf's firework display. "Shall I read some more?" he asked, and then, to our delight read from the bridge confrontation with the Balrog sequence. His voice boomed around the theatre as he roared "YOU CANNOT PASS HERE!" to rapturous applause. Closing the book he then asked, "Do you want to know how The Two Towers begins? ...You mustn't tell anyone I told you!" (sorry Sir Ian, I couldn't resist...).
Not sure if this is true but this is what he told the audience:- The film begins with a gorgeous panoramic view of the mountains, a voice is heard in the background yelling "The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the shadow! You cannot pass... " Then the camera turns into the rocks nearby and smashes through them as Gandelf yells "Fly, you fools!" - we then see a repeat of the shot from Fellowship but instead of Gandelf falling away from the camera into the darkness, this time the camera races after him, following him down - and then we see a great battle between Gandelf and the Balrog... Thats all Sir Ian would say, apparently thats all he has seen of the movie. Anyway, it was entertaining stuff!
Towards the end of the evening Sir Ian auctioned off a neck chain with the X-Men II emblem on it which all the cast received and this went for $400. In the lobby of the theatre was a silent auction with several "Lord of the Rings" goodies (lobby posters, DVDs etc.) all of which were autographed. The bidding was way out of my league unfortunately. The top item was an X-Men II poster signed by the entire cast and bidding for this item when I left was upto $1000! Several members of the cast were in attendance but I only glimpsed Alan Cummings. Apparently Hugh Jackman, Bryan Singer and pyro (don't know the actor for this role) were also there.
All in all, it was a wonderful night that passed by all too quickly.
On a side note I have heard several disheartening stories from the set of X-Men II from 2 seperate (and reliable) sources) - Bryan Singer is reportedly not happy to be directing the movie and has on several occassions left set after calling "action". This has not gone down well with some of the actors. Halle Berry bailed on the movie and refused to come back until they paid her more money and has said she will NEVER work with Singer again. They are spending in the region of $1.5 million PER DAY and the budget is now up to a whopping $240 million! Let's hope things still come together...
Sorry for the length of this report feel free to just pull the bits that you think are of interest.
Keep up the good work guys!
I am MYTHMAKER