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Sir Ian at Mates & Lovers

Sir Ian at Mates & Lovers

Posted by downstage on 09/03/2011

Sir Ian Mckellen
and Ronald T. Nelson at Downstage Theatre, Mats and Lovers
opening night. Photo by Robert Catto.
(Photo by Robert Catto)

The opening night of Mates & Lovers was attended by a number of special guests, but perhaps none more well-known than Sir Ian Mckellen, in town to film The Hobbit.

Sir Ian is a reknowned campaigner for LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) rights in both his public life and his work. Mates & Lovers is a lyrical and witty stage adaptation of Chris Brickell's Montana Award-Winning book which explores the hidden history of gay men in New Zealand. When Sir Ian was offered complimentary tickets to opening night he instead insisted on paying for himself and his guests.

Afterwards Sir Ian spent some time in conversation with writer/director Ronald T. Nelson (pictured). Ronald was pleased to report Sir Ian found the production very moving and thanked actors Simon Leary and Paora Taurima for a wonderful performance. Ronald says Sir Ian particularly enjoyed the incorporation of movement into the production, choreographed by Taiaroa Royal.

The Mates & Lovers team were delighted to have such a noted actor, activist and pioneer of gay theatre attend their opening night, especially in the light of Sir Ian's film commitments, which had him travelling to Milford Sound at 5am the folowing morning.


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