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Sir Ian McKellen will star in his first professional Harold Pinter play at Berkeley Rep. Photo:

Two of the word’s most highly regarded actors are landing in Berkeley this summer.

The distinguished stage actor Sir Ian McKellen, perhaps best known for his role as Gandalf in The Hobbit movies, and Sir Patrick Stewart — British like McKellan — who plays Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise, will star in Harold Pinter’s play No Man’s Land at the Berkeley Rep.

The play, to be directed by Sean Mathias, is set in north London and tells the story of two writers. Blending reality and fantasy, it has been hailed as one of Pinter’s “indisputable modern classics.” No Man’s Land is scheduled to run for a limited four-week run at the Roda Theatre (Aug. 3-31), before heading to Broadway.

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Patrick Stewart: looking forward to discovering Berkeley and the local area. Photo:

“I’m sure audiences will be as excited as I am to see these spectacular actors and their eminent director take on such a formidable script,” the Rep’s Artistic Director Tony Taccone said in a statement. “I’m enormously proud that Berkeley Rep has developed a reputation as a supportive place where artists of this caliber can share their newest ambitious work with our audience.”

“It’s high time I played Berkeley Rep,” McKellen said in the release, “and I’m so pleased to be doing that at last in No Man’s Land (my first professional Pinter) and in such distinguished company.” Meanwhile we can look forward to spotting Patrick Stewart around town. He said: “I am delighted to be performing at Berkeley Rep and look forward to living in and discovering the city and its surroundings.”

The two Brits have teamed up before. They starred in a revival of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, also directed by Mathias, in London in 2009.

Tickets, ranging $35-$135 (subject to change), are now available to Berkeley Rep subscribers. Seats will go on sale to the general public on May 19. Visit Berkeley Rep’s website for details, or phone the theatre on 510-647 2949.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...