General News

Sir Ian McKellen amazed by theatre turn-out on Broadway after Twin Towers fell

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Dec 03, 2013 | 5:33pm EST

Sir Ian Mckellen will always be fond of Broadway because he had a special connection with New York theatregoers following the terrorist attacks on the city in 2001. The actor, who is currently starring opposite fellow Brit Patrick Stewart in a Broadway double bill, was appearing onstage with Dame Helen Mirren when the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center came crashing down on 9/11 and he was astonished that his show was still in business. He recalls, "The play was called Dance of Death and it was by August Strindberg; not a popular play you'd have thought for the mainstream audience... Manhattan was absolutely blocked off; you couldn't get off the island... All the long-running shows, like The Producers, had run out of audience because out-of-towners weren't there. They were giving away tickets. "We were the latest show in town and you couldn't get a ticket to see this very obscure, difficult play, but New Yorkers simply had to go to the theatre. It gave them a sense that there was a future, there was a life."

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