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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Sir Ian's play tribute to sister
Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf
Sir Ian missed his sister's funeral because of filming commitments
Oscar-winning actor Sir Ian McKellen is to swap the glamour of Hollywood movies for a stage in a village hall.

The actor, who is best known for his recent role as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is organising a show in memory of his sister.

Jean Jones died in November. She had been a resident of Nayland, on the Essex-Suffolk border, for 17 years.

An Evening to Remember, which is an invitation only event, is due to take place in Nayland on 6 November.

Sir Ian - who missed his sister's funeral because of filming commitments - is to appear in the production which he initiated.

Nervous actors

Jenny Smith, who was a close friend of Mrs Jones, told BBC Essex the evening would be a fitting tribute to a woman who had been a member of the Village Players.

"He did come to see our last production in March and fortunately none of us knew he was in the audience so it didn't have an affect on us," she said.

"But I think there will be a few nerves on that night (in November).

"Jean would have been absolutely delighted, it's just a shame that she won't be there to enjoy it."

The series of acts, which will include children from the Colchester school where Mrs Jones was deputy head, will also be used to raise money for the village hall.


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