Lord Of The Rings star SIR Ian McKellen's theatrical turn as SHAKESPEARE's King Lear in a new production headed for Los Angeles has created a ticket furore.
Seats for the beloved British thespian's six-performance stint at UCLA's Royce Hall, which begins on Friday night (19Oct07), are selling for as much as $1,000 (GBP500) each as theatre fans clamour to get a glimpse of the actor onstage.
The performances all sold out in July (07) - on the day seats went on sale for a top price of $90 (GBP45) each - but brokers are offering tickets at hugely inflated prices. And Los Angeles theatregoers are paying a fortune to be there.
David Sefton, the longtime artistic director of UCLA Live, the organisation presenting the theatrical coup, says, "This is obviously the kind of problem that you want.
"There's nothing you can do to stop it, and it drives me insane."
According to the Los Angeles Times newspaper, two tickets for one of the six performances recently sold for $2,106 (GBP1,053) on hot ticket website StubHub.com.
Meanwhile, one ticket for King Lear's recent run in New York was offered for $3,000 (GBP1,500) on auction website eBay.com.
Flattered MCKellen refuses to believe his performance is worth thousands: "Maybe these tickets don't actually get sold."