Sir Ian McKellen is due in Lynn next week. Picture: Shutterstock

The inaugural King’s Lynn Shakespeare Festival is a week away.

One of the greatest Shakespearean actors of our time, Sir Ian McKellen, is set to follow in the footsteps of the Bard himself when he takes to the St George’s Guildhall stage as part of the three-day festival from Friday April 26 to Sunday, April 28.

The event has been organised by fellow Shakespearean actor Andrew Jarvis who moved to Lynn from London three years ago and was thrilled to discover Shakespeare had probably performed at the Guildhall in 1592.

The festival will be a celebration of Shakespeare’s works. There will be special performances, professional acting workshops and seminars where five leading scholars will explore the nature of Shakespeare’s theatre and his possible appearance in Lynn. 

There will be a workshop on the Friday from 10.30am to 12.30pm suitable for students aged 16 plus and a celebratory performance of Shakespeare: The Ages of Man at 7.30pm by Mr Jarvis. Saturday will see talks about Shakespeare’s possible Lynn visit.

Performances with Sir Ian on the Saturday and Sunday have been sold out.

Sunday will see a closing discussion with the scholars from 10.30am to 12.30pm. 

During the festival, there will also be a walk led by local historian Dr Paul Richards.

King’s Lynn Festival will also be running a series of musical events alongside the Shakespeare festival.

A professional actor for more than 50 years, Mr  Jarvis said: “Shakespeare has played the central part of that professional life – indeed my involvement with his work has become my passion and my preoccupation. 

“As a result, my awareness of this possible Shakespeare connection with King’s Lynn supplied the impetus for me to create some kind of Shakespearean event. 

“I hoped for something which would both fully interrogate the evidence for Shakespeare’s connection with the town and also celebrate, in performance, our greatest dramatic poet. Hence the inaugural King’s Lynn Shakespeare Festival came into being.”

Sir Ian achieved worldwide fame for his film roles including Richard III, Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Magneto in the X-Men films.

See online at for event details. Tickets can be booked via the Corn Exchange in Lynn.