The ballot for the hottest tickets of the summer to see Sir Ian McKellen live on stage has opened.

Demand to see the world famous actor in person at Keswick's Theatre by the Lake is so great that it was decided to hold a draw for the tickets.

A certain number of seats have been reserved for local charities and to recognise the loyalty of the theatre’s regular audience and supporters, one third of the theatre’s available seats will be weighted towards regular attenders, supporters and Friends of Theatre by the Lake.

The ballot can be entered online from the theatre’s website or via a paper form which can be picked up from the box office or downloaded from the website and will be open until February 11.

Sir Ian's solo show in August is a celebration of his 80th birthday and will be a mixture of anecdote about his career in blockbuster movies such as Lord of the Rings and X-Men and his celebrated appearances on stage, and acting.

As well as answering questions from the audience, he will be inviting some up on stage to act alongside him.

To enter the ballot, go to