A 300-seat theatre in Edinburgh will be named for Tony- and Olivier-winning actor Ian McKellen.
The naming of the Ian McKellen Theatre at Saint Stephens follows the actor's recent version of Hamlet, which was seen at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe by a record-breaking 13,000 theatregoers. In the dance version of the Shakespeare classic, McKellen performed Hamlet’s famed speeches and soliloquies, sharing the role with dancer Johan Christensen.
Hamlet launched the 450-seat Ashton Hall at Saint Stephens Edinburgh, a new all-year performance venue in the Scottish capital.
Peter Schaufuss, who directed and choreographed Hamlet, said, “Since the Fringe ended we have created a second 300-seat theatre underneath the Ashton Hall, at St. Stephens, and I am delighted to announce that Ian has accepted our offer to name the venue in his honor—The Ian McKellen Theatre at Saint Stephens."
McKellen added, “Peter Schaufuss’ unique contribution to Edinburgh’s cultural life, during and beyond the annual festival, is now enhanced by his new theatre at St Stephens. I am honored that it will bear my name.”
In 2007, the award-winning star of stage and screen was appointed Companion of Honour in 2007 for his services to Drama and Equality, in recognition of his LGBT activism.