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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alex Coppel/Newspix / Rex Features ( 1178990d )
Sir Ian McKellen (seated), in character fooling the public into believing he and his cast members are destitute. A person giving money.
Sir Ian McKellen ‘begging’ on the street in Melbourne, Australia – 06 May 2010
Most pedestrians marched quickly past this forlorn old man, dressed in rags and shabbily slumped on a bench in Melbourne, his upturned hat at his feet. They had seen his like many times a veteran of life’s misfortunes, begging to ensure survival as winter looms. However, one stopped and turned, then threw a $1 coin into his hat. But the “beggar” was none other than Sir Ian McKellen, the acclaimed British actor, simply taking a break from Comedy Theatre costume rehearsals for Waiting For Godot in which he plays a tramp.

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Rhys Tranter is a writer and photographer based in Cardiff, Wales. His writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement and a number of books and periodicals.

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