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Sir Ian McKellen on Stage: RWCMD One of Ten Charities to Benefit

22 October 2019




“The theatre event of the year”

The Telegraph

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama is one of ten charities named to receive all profits from this West End run 







Following an unprecedented, sold-out tour which raised £3 million for 80 theatres throughout the UK, Ian McKellen’s 80th birthday theatre journey continues with a return to London for 80 further performances at the Harold Pinter Theatre from Friday 20th September.

‘Rage,’ Simon Stephen’s blistering play about Brexit, which had its UK premiere at the College. Photo: Mark Douet

All profits to the West End show will be donated to 10 charities which raise vital funds for a cross section of people involved with the arts; from young theatre makers just starting out to retired theatre professionals and people with disabilities working in the industry.

As well as the Royal Welsh College, the recipients include Denville Hall, English Touring Theatre, Equal People, Kings Head Theatre Move, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, National Youth Theatre, Ramps on the Moon, Streetwise Opera, and U Can Productions.

A limited availability of tickets is still available via

Ian McKellen says:

“Having raised essential funds for regional theatres, I am delighted to bring this show to the West End where the beneficiaries will be national theatre charities selected by those involved with the daily running of the show.”

For further information please contact Lewis Jenkins at The Corner Shop PR 020 7831 7657 or email


With Tolkien, Shakespeare, others …and you!
Presented by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions
Directed by Sean Mathias

Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London SW1Y 4DN

Performance schedule*

First performance: 20th September 2019
Last performance: 5th January 2020
Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 3:00pm

*Performance on 1st November at 2:00pm
*No performances from 2nd – 7th November

*Christmas schedule:

23rd December at 7:30pm
24th December at 3:00pm
25th December No performance
26th December No performance
27th December at 7:30pm
28th December at 7:30pm
29th December at 7:30pm

Tickets from £10 at or


Royal Welsh & College of Music & Drama


The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, the National Conservatoire of Wales, and part of the University of South Wales Group, competes alongside an international peer group of conservatoires and specialist arts colleges for the best students globally, enabling students to enter and influence the world of music, theatre and related professions. The College has been named by the Guardian University Guide as the top Drama training programme in the UK four times since 2013.

Every year RWCMD needs to raise substantial scholarship funds to help talented young people, of every background, to pursue their dream training. The money raised from Ian McKellen on Stage will create a new scholarship to support a Welsh student in financial need to study Acting at the College in Cardiff and to enjoy the high quality, industry-focused training that has become its hallmark.

Denville Hall


Denville Hall is a Residential home, offering residential, nursing and respite care for members of the theatrical profession. We are a charity dedicated to ensuring our residents continue living their life the way they choose to, with as much opportunity as possible to remain engaged with the industry, and to keep up with old and new passions.  We are a home governed by a Trust and House Committee who are all experts in their fields and members of the entertainment industry themselves, giving Denville a unique position from which to provide the best experience for our residents. The atmosphere at Denville is unique, this is down to the personalities living here and the experience they bring with them. The independent choices of our residents shape the Hall and make a home for all who reside here.

In Jeanne’s Wing, a dedicated unit with high levels of nursing and care staff, we are able to offer specialist care for those suffering from Dementia. Focusing on 1-1 care and regular sensory and oral activities, as well as the home’s usual activity programme, Jeanne’s Wing is a safe and homely environment for those who require the extra level of assistance.

With thanks to connections within the industry we regularly welcome visiting musicians and actors to perform at Denville Hall, and screen NT Live performances directly into our theatre. We hold weekly poetry groups, short story groups, art classes, exercise classes and daily film screenings, offering a social programme rich in variety and constantly responding to the desires of our residents.

English Touring Theatre


English Touring Theatre (ETT) is one of the UK’s leading touring companies, winning the UK Theatre Awards Best Touring Production in 2014, 2015 and 2016. ETT works with exciting artists to stage an eclectic mix of new and classic work for audiences throughout the UK and internationally; theatre that is thrilling, popular and engaged in the contemporary world. ETT celebrates the diversity of the nation, creates connections between audiences nationally and places an examination of English identity at the heart of everything it does. ETT passionately believes that everyone, wherever they are in the country, deserves access to world class theatre that has meaning and relevance to their lives.

Artistic Director, Richard Twyman, on behalf of ETT said

“We feel incredibly honoured to have been selected by Sir Ian McKellen as one of the chosen charities, to be associated with his remarkable show which has done so much for theatres across the UK, and to sit alongside so many inspiring organisations doing extraordinary work. This support will have a significant impact on our programme of work over the next year. A key part of our mission is to develop meaningful and sustainable relationships with audiences across the country, in partnership with the many venues we tour to. These funds will go directly to our bespoke audience development projects that seek to build conversation and community with new and existing audiences around our productions.”

Equal People


Equal People Performing Arts was established in 2005, shortly after Penni Bubb had set up the Mushroom Theatre Company, with the intention of promoting the benefits of the performing arts, alongside the aim of creating a fully inclusive Theatre Company for the community. Whilst Mushroom Theatre Company sought to integrate children with special needs with able-bodied children in all their classes and performances, it was clear that a dedicated performance venue and space was needed in order to fully realise the potential.

Equal People was formally registered as a charity in December 2006 (number 1116649), and in 2007 ex-pupil Lee Mead, now TV/West End Star, became patron of the charity. Equal People and Mushroom Theatre Company have worked closely ever since. The charity has a board of trustees and a fundraising team who work very hard on a voluntary basis, many of whom are also actively involved in Mushroom Theatre Company.

Back in the early days of the Charity a feasibility study was undertaken to explore the need to build a purpose built theatre and performance area that could cater for disabled performers and spectators, as there was no other arts facility in the area to provide this. This new building would provide a safe place for disadvantaged children and young people to participate in performing arts; be a totally accessible performance and learning environment for those in wheelchairs; and would become a community area that could be used by ourselves, Mushroom, local schools and organisations, and fellow theatre groups.

Kings Head Theatre


The King’s Head Theatre was established in 1970. The most ethically and socially responsible fringe theatre in the UK, we are known for our challenging work and support of young artists. Last year 116,151 audience members saw a show of ours: 44,607 at our 110 seater home on Upper Street and 60,269 on tour in the UK and 11,275 internationally. At our home in Islington we had 774 performances last year of 90 different shows. We are committed to fighting prejudice through the work we stage, the artists and staff we work with and by producing work for minority audience groups. We believe in fair pay for all on the fringe and create accessible routes for early career artists to stage their work; work we are passionate about.

For 47 years the theatre was housed in the back room of the King’s Head pub on Upper Street in an old boxing ring and pool hall. Founded by Dan Crawford in 1970 it became known throughout his 35-year tenure as a breeding ground for new talent and great work. In 2010 Olivier Award-winning Opera UpClose Productions became the theatre’s resident company for 4 years, and Adam Spreadbury-Maher became Artistic Director.

The King’s Head Theatre has been a stepping stone in the careers of many of the UK’s most influential contemporary artists. Renowned actors like Maureen Lipman, Hugh Grant, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Richard E Grant all performed here, Sir Tom Stoppard, Steven Berkoff and Alan Rickman all began their careers at the King’s Head Theatre.



Our mission is to provide inspiring theatre experiences to children and young people, especially those who are disadvantaged or have special needs and disabilities.

Each year we take about 13,000 children and young people to see London’s world-class theatre who would never think this was something open to them.  In doing so we broaden their horizons, offer new possibilities and expose them to new ideas and views of the world.

Many of the children and young people we serve have had a difficult start in life. As a result, they lack confidence and self-esteem, have low aspirations, struggle at school and have poor mental health.  We use drama as a tool with these vulnerable young people, to help them overcome these problems, make new friends and have fun

We champion the arts in schools, with theatre education projects that develop creativity and can put students on the path to an arts career.  Working in schools and youth clubs all over London, we use drama to teach personal and social skills that are transferable to every walk of life

Through specially adapted performances and subsidised tickets, we open up the exciting world of London theatre to families facing the daily challenges of having a child with special needs and disabilities or living on a low-income.

In short, we help children and young people live happy, fulfilling childhoods and put them on the path to becoming successful young adults.  And it all starts with a magical trip to the theatre.

National Youth Theatre


The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain is a world-leading youth arts organisation. Established in 1956 as the world’s first youth theatre, we have nurtured the talent of hundreds of thousands of young people over 60 years. We discover, inspire and showcase exceptional performers and theatre technicians from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commissioning brave and relevant new writing and reinterpreting classic stories for our time.

We are as ambitious as the young people we serve, platforming young talent on West End stages, at leading theatre around the UK and at iconic outdoor sites both home and abroad. We offer free alternative routes into the industry, develop young creatives leaders and a force for positive change through social inclusion in the UK and international cultural exchange world-wide. We celebrate the diversity of Britain’s youth in all its form and strive to improve access to the performing arts and break down any barriers that might prevent young people from participating in our work. Read more about this work, our Bursary Fund and free opportunities around the UK at

Our world renowned alumni include: Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Day-Lewis, David Oyelowo, Orlando Bloom, Andrea Riseborough, Gareth Pugh, Catherine Tate, Ben Kingsley, Ashley Jensen, Matt Lucas, Hugh Bonneville, Matthew Warchus, Matt Smith, Adeel Akhtar, Zawe Ashton, Michael Grandage and many more. You can find out more about National Youth Theatre and how to apply for an audition, interview or creative opportunity at

Ramps on the Moon


Ramps on the Moon is enriching the stories we tell in our theatres, and how we tell them, by normalising the presence of disabled and D/deaf people across the industry.

In 2015, the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, joined forces with six other mid-scale theatres (Leeds Playhouse, Birmingham REP, Nottingham Playhouse, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Sheffield Theatres) and Graeae Theatre Company to create the award winning Ramps on the Moon, the largest Arts Council England funded strategic touring project. The aim of Ramps on the Moon is to increase the engagement and participation of D/deaf and disabled actors, artists and audiences and the consortium partners are excited by seeing diversity as an engine for even greater creativity.

Ramps on the Moon is making a real difference: So far, over 64,000 people have experienced Ramps on the Moon’s touring productions; accessing high-quality touring work with an inclusive company.

The first production under this banner, The Government Inspector, was launched by Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 2016, and 2017 saw the New Wolsey’s production of The Who’s Tommy open in Suffolk before embarking on a national tour.

Our Country’s Good toured in Spring 2018 and Ramps on the Moon has become recognised in the industry as ground-breaking in the inclusion of D/deaf and disabled artists and creatives. Accolades to date include an Olivier Award nomination for The Government Inspector, the UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production 2017 for Tommy, and a further 2017 UK Theatre Award for the Promotion of Diversity.

Streetwise Opera


“At the time that I have nothing, I still have my artistry. I still have my creativity. And if that’s going to get me from homelessness to where I need to be, then I’m going to hone that. And Streetwise Opera is the perfect place to do that.”, participant.

Streetwise Opera is an award-winning performing arts charity for people affected by homelessness.

The charity was founded in London in 2002 by Matt Peacock MBE who worked with homeless people to turn a negative press story (a politician’s quote that ‘the homeless are the people you step over on your way out of the Opera House’) into a positive opportunity for homeless people to participate in opera.

17 years later, Streetwise Opera works with over 600 people affected by homelessness each year in London, Nottingham, Manchester, Newcastle Gateshead and Teesside, harnessing the power of music to improve wellbeing and social inclusion, transforming people’s lives.

Streetwise Opera performers take part in weekly creative workshops, theatre trips, public performances and volunteering opportunities, and star in professional operas alongside world-class artists. Our last major production, Tell Me The Truth About Love, was performed at Sage Gateshead in April 2018 (‘a powerful and inspiring show’ ★★★★ The Guardian), and our previous production, The Passion, with The Sixteen, was broadcast on BBC Four, seen by over 140,000 people (★★★★★ The Times).

Thanks to Sir Ian’s support, people affected by homelessness will experience the joy of opera, music and theatre, and show the world they can achieve great things.

U Can Productions


UCAN Productions is an award winning performance and creative arts co-operative for blind and partially sighted children, young people and their friends between the ages of 7 and 25. Based in Cardiff, UCAN (Unique Creative Arts Network) works across the UK and exists to prove that visual impairment is no barrier to success. Programmes help to develop physical and vocal confidence, raise aspirations and promote individual abilities.