A Quasi-Conversation with Sir Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen is one of those folks to whom I would happily listen as he read the proverbial phone book.

My first brush with His Lordship remains one of my favorite cinematic portrayals — Chauvelin from The Scarlett Pimpernel (1982) — and his voice is an enormous factor in that role; indeed, in any of his performances. Not particularly deep or stentorian, but so smooth. So mellow. And as clear as crystal.

Luckily, we’ve got a whole lot more of Sir Ian’s mellifluous abilities than a simple phone book. And my newest discovery (which I stumbled upon quite by accident while researching Richard III’s most recent foray into the (inter)national consciousness) is just the latest drop in the glorious bucket: StageworkMcKellen.com — a  Flash-based exploration of Sir Ian’s thoughts on many things Richard III-related, presented in such a way that it feels a bit like a conversation.

The technical details can be a trifle cumbersome — how many times must I click on these questions to get a complete response? — but the man’s charismatic charm, his grasp over The Bard’s works, and his infectious enthusiasm for the material make for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. McKellen’s analysis of the opening speech alone is worth the price of admission — Oh, wait. FREE! — and the comparisons of Olivier’s, his, and Nelson’s versions of that opening are a blast, as well. What a great little site.

Here’s a taste to whet your appetite:

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About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, being amazed by his (currently) lone daughter, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.