Movie wizard discovers magic of Lancaster

Atkinsons Coffee staff Martha Binns, Daniel Atkin, Tom Mellors and Ollie Brewer with Sir Ian McKellen.
Atkinsons Coffee staff Martha Binns, Daniel Atkin, Tom Mellors and Ollie Brewer with Sir Ian McKellen.

A world famous British actor visited Lancaster this week.

Sir Ian McKellen was relaxed and “generous with his time” as he was given a tour of Atkinson’s Coffee House, before having lunch at The Midland Hotel in Morecambe and taking in a show at The Dukes Theatre.

Sir Ian McKellen at Atkinsons Coffee House in Lancaster

Sir Ian McKellen at Atkinsons Coffee House in Lancaster

The award-winning actor, who was born in Burnley, Lancashire, is probably best known for his role as Gandalf in The Lord of The Rings, or perhaps Magneto in the X-Men films.

He took in a tour of the whole of Lancaster’s Coffee Quarter - The Hall, The Roastery, The Shop & The Music Room as he spent time with friends in the afternoon.

Ian Steel, owner of Atkinsons said he gave Sir Ian a tour of the sites, and showed him the new state of the art coffee roasting facility, recently built between The Hall and the Atkinsons shop.

He said: “He enjoyed a full tour of the whole of Lancaster’s Coffee Quarter and was very generous with his time.”

Polly Lister with Sir Ian McKellen at The Dukes Theatre in Lancaster

Polly Lister with Sir Ian McKellen at The Dukes Theatre in Lancaster

Later, he visited The Dukes Theatre on a private visit to see I Was A Wife, the theatre’s homegrown one woman show performed and written by Polly Lister.

A spokeswoman for The Dukes said Sir Ian had already seen Lister in two previous productions in Harrogate and Keswick.

After the show he chatted to some of our Young Actors who were promoting their forthcoming production of Macbeth which runs from March 22-25.

McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1979 and was knighted by Elizabeth II in 1991 for services to the performing arts.

Sir Ian McKellen returns as wizard Gandalf in Warner Bros. Pictures release. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Sir Ian McKellen returns as wizard Gandalf in Warner Bros. Pictures release. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

He started out as a stage actor and became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company during the 1970s.

Performances of I Was a Wife continue tonight and tomorrow evening with an additional matinee show tomorrow afternoon.

It then tours to Theatre By The Lake, Keswick and Chipping Norton Theatre before returning to The Dukes on March 3 and 4.