The beanie hat Ian McKellen wears in each performance of Hamlet at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
will be auctioned after the show to support a bursary fund bearing his name to help future young dance students at Edinburgh Festival Ballet School
Director and choreographer Peter Schaufuss said: “This is an incredible generous legacy gift from Ian to the youngsters of Scotland. Long after the Fringe has ended, his generosity with ensure that young up and coming dancers will benefit for years to come.
We are also thrilled that Ian has agreed to meet the public and answer questions about his incredible career over seven decades at eight Q & A events following performances of ‘Hamlet’.
Ian McKellan also announces eight Hamlet aftershow Q & A talks will take place on August 3, 4, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 & 24 at ‘The Hamlet After Party’ in the Lower Hall, Saint Stephens, 105 St Stephen Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5AB.
‘The Hamlet After Party’ is a cabaret-style show with the famous musical entertainer Richard Lewis and cast members from the ‘Hamlet’ company.
During each aftershow event, Ian’s Hamlet beanie hat worn at that day’s performance will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Tickets for ‘Hamlet Aftershow’ cost £16.50 each (£15.00 + £1.50 booking fee) and are available on this link: https://www.citizenticket.co.uk/events/edinburgh-festival-ballet/the-hamlet-afterparty/
In his long and distinguished career, Ian McKellen has played Hamlet twice, in productions 50 years apart. In 1971 he took the rôle on tour and in the West End and then last year, aged 81, he revisited it in an age, colour, and gender-blind production at the Theatre Royal, Windsor.
Now Ian returns to ‘Hamlet’ in a world première at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, performing with the Edinburgh Festival Ballet Company.
Several performances are already sold out – it is one of the hottest tickets in the 3000-strong Fringe line up.
Ian – performing Hamlet’s famous speeches, soliloquies and more – will share the rôle of Hamlet with lead dancer Johan Christiansen, and will be on stage throughout the 75-minute production.
McKellen says: “At a crucial moment in ‘Hamlet’, Shakespeare describes in detail a dance, performed by the actors touring through Elsinore. Hamlet says: ‘What a piece of work is a man… how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action.’ The same could be said of Peter Schaufuss and his company of wonderful dancers. It’s inspiring to watch them and work with them.”