• Play Hard
  • 22nd Jun 2024
  • 0
  • 3 minutes

Mark your calendars – Sir Ian McKellen returns to Newcastle Theatre Royal

  • Advertisement Feature

Listen up theatre lovers, the legendary Sir Ian McKellen is making a grand return to the Newcastle Theatre Royal this summer.

McKellen is bringing the celebrated show, Player Kings, to his ‘favourite theatre in the whole country’ (BBC Radio 2) for five exclusive performances from Tuesday 23rd to Saturday 27th July.

The performances at Newcastle Theatre Royal are the final dates in the production’s very limited UK tour, so you don’t want to miss out.


This epic production stars Toheeb Jimoh, known for his roles in Ted Lasso and Romeo and Juliet, playing Prince Harry and Richard Coyle from Ink and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, as King Henry IV.

With such a star-studded cast, it’s no surprise that tickets are selling out quickly and an extra performance has just been added due to phenomenal demand!

Mark your calendars – Sir Ian McKellen returns to Newcastle Theatre Royal


Sir Ian McKellen, described by The Times as ‘one of the world’s greatest actors,’ will take on the role of Falstaff in this fresh adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, directed by the award-winning Robert Icke.

‘Player Kings is a version of Shakespeare’s most English plays,’ says Sir Ian McKellen. ‘So, I am glad we are bringing our production across the country which they celebrate.’


Player Kings combines Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, into a captivating narrative. The story unfolds in a divided England, teetering on the edge of chaos.

Young Prince Hal, destined for the throne but seemingly ill-suited for kingship, must navigate his way from the lively taverns of Eastcheap, where he keeps company with the roguish Falstaff, to the battlefield where his fate awaits.

As the country faces corruption and impending war, Hal’s journey to maturity and responsibility forms the crux of this powerful tale. Will he rise to the occasion and lead England to victory?

Mark your calendars – Sir Ian McKellen returns to Newcastle Theatre Royal


The cast of Player Kings is nothing short of impressive. Alongside McKellen, Jimoh and Coyle, you’ll see Raphael Akuwudike as Prince John, Sara Beharrell as Snare/Davy and Samuel Edward-Cook as Hotspur/Pistol. Plus, there’s Geoffrey Freshwater as Bardolph and Clare Perkins as Mistress Quickly. This ensemble is sure to bring Shakespeare’s characters to life in a way you’ve never seen before.

Behind the scenes, the production boasts an equally talented creative team. The set and costumes are designed by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Lee Curran and sound by Gareth Fry. Julia Horan CDG takes on the role of casting director, while Kev McCurdy serves as the fight director. The associate costume designer is Johanna Coe, and the hair and makeup are by Susanna Peretz. Associate directors Jack Bradfield and Lizzie Manwaring round out this dynamic team.


Produced by the renowned Ambassador Theatre Group Productions and other prominent partners, Player Kings promises to be one of the year’s theatrical highlights. The intricate set designs, detailed costumes and stellar performances will make for an unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re a die-hard Shakespeare fan, an admirer of Sir Ian McKellen or just love a good night out at the theatre, Player Kings is the show for you.


Newcastle Theatre Royal, 100 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6BR

User Avatar
Rachael Nichol
Creative Solutions Manager

After gaining a first in her BA Media and Journalism degree at Northumbria University, Rachael worked at Newcastle’s leading regional newspaper with her stories being picked up in national and global newspapers She spent two very successful years giving a voice to those communities across the North East who otherwise…


Have your say