There are now some accounts from people who have seen Sir Ian McKellen’s fundraising show in NZ, and will probably be more in the future (each show should be slightly different as he caters to what the audience wants). He sounds like charm incarnate!
Visit TheOneRing.net for a review from Del Girl, which includes some interesting details about the unique difficulties faced by an actor when filming a technically challenging film like The Hobbit:
To get the perspectives of tall Gandalf with shorter Dwarves and Hobbit right, there is a lot of green screen work. To start with, all actors are on the same set while they rehearse. When it comes time to film, Ian is taken to another set – all in green – where he will act to pictures of the Dwarf and Hobbit actors. Each set is filmed by a camera, which are slaved so that they move simultaneously, and everyone acts the scene at the same time. Ian’s only way of knowing who in the other set is talking is by some lights flashing above the actor’s photo on his set. He said it was a very lonely way of acting, and his mutters about it were picked up by everyone linked to his microphone. To make Ian feel better about it all, PJ worked his magic – and the next morning Ian turned up to his changing room to find it had been transformed into a version of Rivendell with lots of props.
There is also another report from Taranaki Daily News (and same text but different photo here), as well as a TV interview on the TVNZ website (I couldn’t play it on Firefox, and it only worked once for me on Internet Explorer, though that may just be my issue). He mentions the Hobbit near the end, but don’t expect any revelations!
Sir Ian is awesome about sharing articles on his Facebook page, so here is another one I just read on Look to the Stars.org, “Ian McKellen On Stage with Shakespeare, Tolkien and You”.