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OPINION - Sir Ian McKellen and Roger Allam: a special edition of the Evening Standard Theatre Podcast

This week’s edition of the Evening Standard Theatre Podcast has us more than excited. Instead of our usual format, it’s dedicated to a wide-ranging interview with stage (and screen, obv) legends Sir Ian McKellen and Roger Allam, who are appearing together in the play Frank & Percy at The Other Palace, until December 3.

Allam has described the play as a “gay rom com” between two older men, but, says McKellen, Ben Weatherill’s two-hander “appeals to anyone, at least it seems to.” Audience responses have been “rather heartening for someone who remembers a time when it was illegal to be gay. But when when these two guys kiss there’s a roar of approval, from a perfectly ordinary theatre audience, which makes me think that theatre audiences are probably the best people in the world.”

McKellen and Allam in Frank & Percy (Jack Merriman)
McKellen and Allam in Frank & Percy (Jack Merriman)

They also talk about the sadness and fear around ageing, freedom of speech and the prices of theatre tickets, and debate whether audiences should be expected to behave themselves – with some surprising results. Plus Allam remembers the day Princess Diana came to see the first production of Les Misérables, in which he played Javert: “That was a couple of million quid’s worth of free publicity...”

Buy tickets to Frank & Percy here

Listen above, or wherever you stream your podcasts.