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Sir Ian McKellen has hailed William Shakespeare as a champion of diversity ahead of celebrations fo...

Sir Ian McKellen hails Shakespeare for making all the world a stage

By 18:34:00

Sir Ian McKellen has hailed William Shakespeare as a champion of diversity ahead of celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Speaking at the launch for Heuristic Shakespeare – The Tempest App, the 76-year-old said: “Anybody can relate to Shakespeare.”

“Shakespeare wrote about black people,” he told the Press Association.

“He wrote about us all, he wrote about gay people like me, he wrote about women – my goodness, did he write fantastic parts for women!”

Sir Ian continued: “He wrote about leaders, tyrants, people you meet in the pubs, soldiers of all ranks so the colour of your skin or the culture from which you come from isn’t really relevant, but the plays go on being persistently relevant – and not just in this country.

“Millions of Chinese students study Shakespeare, for example. Anybody can relate to Shakespeare.”

The award-winning actor and his Richard III director Richard Loncraine of Heuristic Media, have taken that approach with their Heuristic Shakespeare app.

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