Written by John Osborne
Directed by Robert Chetwyn
Ian McKellen in the role of Martin Luther
Arts Theatre, Ipswich, Suffolk
9 April 1963
Words from Ian McKellen
I was not in the preceding production of â€œGUILTY PARTY,â€ giving Bob Chetwyn time to prepare my big speeches solo each evening after rehearsals. Even so we got behind with the schedule. At 2.00a.m. our technical rehearsal ended. Bob asked me should we continue with a dress rehearsal at once or wait till the afternoon â€“ with the first public show following in the evening. I chose the former and we got to bed after dawn.
Albert Finney had had a big success in the original production of â€œLUTHER,â€ although it felt as if the part belonged to me. Like him, I suppose, I used my native Lancashire accent, which was a good support for Osborneâ€™s fighting rhetoric.