LIve: a late night with Ian McKellen


Sir Ian McKellen performed the soliloquy that Shakespeare contributed to the play Sir Thomas More at the close of a question and answer session in which he participated with Bishop Gene Robinson after the British premier of the film For the Bible Tells Me So, by Dan Karslake., last night in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

“Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise

Hath chid down all the majesty of England;

Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,

Their babies at their backs with their poor luggage,

Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation,

And that you sit as kings in your desires,

Authority quite silenced by your brawl, And you in rough of your opinions clothed;

What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught

How insolence and strong hand should prevail,

How order should be quelled; and by this pattern

Not one of you should live an aged man,

For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,

With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,

Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes

Would feed on one another.

Jim Naughton will have a fuller report tomorrow.

We will add media links as they appear.

MSNBC has photos here.

Susan Russell blogs the evening here.

It played to a nearly-full-house-audience of over 800.

It played to a standing ovation for the Bishop of New Hampshire when he took the stage to have his post-film conversation with Sir Ian McKellen.

It played to those questioners from the audience (and not a heckler in sight, let it be noted) who talked with great sincerity about their alienation from the Church-as-they-know-it because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. (And what does it say that after yesterday’s failed efforts by the heckler in Putney to shout down +Gene’s sermon he was willing to take the risk of an “open mike” Q&A with 800+ folks in a London theater?)

It played so well that on-the-record-as-an-“unbeliever” Ian McKellen said it was enough to make him “consider Christianity.”

Entertainment and Showbiz News reports:

‘Lord of the Rings‘ star Sir Ian Mc Kellen has once again received death threats for being open about his sexuality and supporting gay US bishop Gene Robinson.

The actor recently revealed on BBC’S Andrew Mar Show, that the number of death threats he has been receiving have mellowed down considerably in the past few years.

Katie Sherrod shares her experience of the premiere and the talk by Ian and Gene here:

Sir Ian began by asking why the bishop agreed to participate in this film – wasn’t taking care of his diocese enough without getting involved in something larger?

Bp. Robinson told how after all the death threats that followed his consecration, Karslake managed to get past all his security and appear in his office to tell him about his idea for the film. Karslake impressed him with his passion. But more than that, the bishop felt he could trust Karslake with his parents.

“As for the diocese, they are so wonderful – I love these people and they love me back. It’s been hard for people in my diocese to share me with the world. . . They hear about me sharing the stage with Sir Ian McKellan but the press is never there in the church basement with potluck with macaroni and cheese and the Jello molded salads, doing the things a bishop does on a day in, day out basis,” he said.

Read all the Q and A here.

Chris Hansen reports here.

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