Sir Ian McKellen made his Dukes debut and began the venue’s fundraising campaign for its famous park show by raising over £23,160.
The acclaimed actor of stage and screen famous for his role of Gandalf, appeared as part of a tour celebrating his 80th birthday, reciting anecdotes and performing extracts from Lord of the Rings and Shakespeare.
After the show, Sir Ian collected donations from the audience to go towards new technical equipment for The Dukes’ annual outdoor production in Williamson Park.
Victoria Firth, interim director at The Dukes, said: “We were absolutely delighted to be chosen by Sir Ian as one of the 80 venues he would perform at as part of his birthday tour.The funds raised are going towards our fundraising campaign to ensure that our beloved park show will continue to create magical memories for people of all ages long into the future.
“This is just the beginning of the campaign and we hope that our audiences and supporters from across Lancashire, and indeed the UK, will get on board and help us reach our target over the coming months.”
Late last year The Dukes announced that there would be no ‘play in the park’ in 2019 but that it would return in 2020 bigger and bolder than ever after a year’s hiatus.
The venue, which is a registered charity, has already raised £53,162 and hopes to raise a total of £85,000.
Members of the public can donate £5 by texting PARKSHOW to 70085, by visiting www.dukes-lancaster.org/donate or by calling 01524 598500.