Sir Ian McKellen is putting his down-time from filming The Hobbit to good use, by helping restore an iconic theatre in Christchurch to its former glory.
The city's "grand old lady", the Isaac Royal Theatre, survived the Christchurch earthquakes but remains closed due to structural issues.
To help fund the reopening of the theatre, the actor, who plays Gandalf in the upcoming Peter Jackson movie, will perform a series of one-man shows to raise money during his weekends while filming in New Zealand.
"I love this beautiful old theatre and want to help restore it as soon as possible," he said.
McKellen performed in Waiting for Godot at the Isaac theatre in July 2010, and said some of the props from the performance have still survived.
"They've been preserved and they've survived the earthquake and that's very touching, and I suppose symbolic of something."
The performances will be devised in part by the audience, including chat, reminiscence, gossip and performances.
"It's only me. No performing dogs, no hobbits. Just Ian McKellen. But the byline is with Tolkein, Shakespeare and you, you being the audience."
McKellen will perform 14 shows across New Zealand, with all the proceeds going towards the rebuild of the theatre.
Insurance will cover most of the $25 million cost to rebuild the theatre, but an extra $6 million will be needed to cover the policy excess and other necessary heritage work.
Sat 5 May, Kings Theatre, Stratford. Book at 06 765 8255 or www.ticketmaster.co.nz
Sun 6 May, Centrepoint, Palmerston North. Book at 06 354 5740 or www.centrepoint.co.nz
Sat 12 May, Clarence St Theatre, Hamilton. Book at 0800 842 538 or www.ticketek.co.nz
Sun 13 May, Baycourt Theatre, Tauranga. Book at 0800 224 224 or www.ticketdirect.co.nz
Sun 20 May 2.00pm & 7.30pm: Theatre Royal, Nelson. Book at 0800 224 224 or 03 548 3840 or www.ticketdirect.co.nz
Sat 26 May, Q, Auckland. Book at 09 309 9771 or www.qtheatre.co.nz
Sun27 May, Q, Auckland. Book at 09 309 9771 or www.qtheatre.co.nz
Sat 2 June, Aurora Centre, Christchurch. Book at 0800 842 538 or www.ticketek.co.nz
Sat 9 June, Lake Wanaka Centre, Wanaka. Book at 03 443 4172 or www.festivalofcolour.co.nz
Sun 10 June, Lake Wanaka Centre, Wanaka. Book at 03 443 4172 or www.festivalofcolour.co.nz
Sat 16 June, Hawkes Bay Opera House, Hastings. Book at 0800 842 538 or www.ticketek.co.nz
Saturday 23 June, Opera House, Wellington. Book at 0800 842 538 or www.ticketek.co.nz
Sunday 24 June, Events Centre, Carterton. Book at 06 379 4082 or www.dashtickets.co.nz