Sir Ian McKellen returning to stage as Shakespeare's Hamlet in Fringe line-up

The 82-year-old will perform the speeches and soliloquies and will share the role with dancer Johan Christiansen.

Veteran actor Sir Ian McKellen will star as Hamlet in a performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year.

The 82-year-old returned to the stage last year as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, 50 years after first playing the doomed Danish prince.

Sir Ian will perform the speeches and soliloquies and will share the role with lead dancer Johan Christiansen, performing alongside the Edinburgh Festival Ballet company.

Ian McKellen
Dancer Johan Christiansen, left, and Sir Ian McKellen (centre) will share the role of Hamlet, directed by Peter Schaufuss, right (PA)

Hamlet was adapted by founder of the English National Ballet School Peter Schaufuss, and will also feature his son Luke Schaufuss.

Sir Ian said: “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.”

Hamlet forms part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (PA)

In 1971, Sir Ian took on the role of Hamlet in London’s West End before revisiting the role last year in an age, colour and gender-blind production at the Theatre Royal in Windsor.

The actor has regularly been part of the Edinburgh Festival, most recently with his solo show performing extracts from his best-loved roles in the Assembly Hall, which marked his 80th birthday.

The production will launch at Saint Stephen’s Theatre in Edinburgh on August 2 and run until August 28.

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