The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Ian McKellen at Newcastle Theatre Royal
A young Ian McKellen remakes Shakespeare's Richard II for a modern audience at Newcastle Theatre Royal.
Magazine and Review show 1968 3 mins
From the collection of:
A future star of the stage and screen, Ian McKellen treads the boards at Newcastle Theatre Royal, rehearsing Shakespeare's Richard II. The young actor explains how the Dalai Llama became his modern counterpart for an interpretation of the downfall of 'a medieval king who thought he was God', a role he plays with all the psychological insight of the 60s era. McKellen had his first Shakespearean triumph with this touring production for the Prospect Theatre Company in 1968.
McKellen has said 'I found further confirmation that Richard's fate had a modern relevance – in Hollywood, a city littered with the corpses of stars who were treated as superhuman and could not cope with the strain.' In addition to his acting success (including big screen roles as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and Magneto in X-Men), he is renowned for his political activism on behalf of the LGBTQ community. Long discrete about his sexuality, the actor, aged 49, publicly came out on BBC Radio in 1988 as a political act to fight the introduction of the Thatcher government's notorious Section 28, which made it illegal to 'promote' homosexuality in schools. He was also a co-founder of gay rights lobby group Stonewall.
Most Popular Free 2019
Advert 1976 1 mins
Pete and Dud prove to be stout football fans in this Guinness commercial recalling a great sporting moment - however fleeting.
Documentary 1976 26 mins Location: Ingleborough
As if running up one mountain isn’t foolhardy enough, these hardened men in shorts do three, displaying amazing endurance, as well as weary legs and wasted expressions.
Promotional 1969 10 mins Location: Folkestone
There's something for everyone in Folkestone as this promotional film claims - including lidos, fine dining, cliff railways and the weirdest fitness machines ever seen
Magazine and Review show 1982 11 mins Location: Cotmanhay
Trapped by disillusionment - Cotmanhay becomes a prison for Anthony.
Amateur film 1940 5 mins Silent Location: Burnley
Come for a drive around the streets of a busy Lancashire town.
Advert 1972 1 mins
In 1972 Britain entered the European common market full of beans. What could go wrong?
Newcastle upon Tyne
Advert 1957 1 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Little Andy takes the speedy way to sparkling good health in a zippy 50s cartoon advertisement for Andrews Liver Salts.
Promotional 1970 16 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Tuning into the biggest consumer market for television advertising in Britain with Trident TV.
Son of Plain - Advertising Man's Guide to Tyne Tees Television Son of Plain - Advertising Man's Guide to Tyne Tees Television
Promotional 1964 11 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Is comedian Clive Dunn the Don Draper of the British advertising world? Watch this imaginative Tyne Tees TV marketing film and decide.
Non-Fiction 1898 1 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
All the fun of the fair in this Victorian film, made in the early years of Newcastle's famous Hoppings
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
A marching band leads the parades with the Boer War still raging
News 1970 17 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Being wheelchair users is not a barrier to these children doing slaloms or throwing javelins, gaining confidence and changing perceptions.
Documentary 2020 11 mins
Searching for one of the last people to speak Gayle - a secret language the gay community were forced to invent during Apartheid.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
A comedy-drama animation about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently.
Drama 2019 14 mins
An African Pentecostal Pastor questions everything she believes after a life-changing event.
Drama 2018 8 mins
Samona Olanipekun explores the concepts of home, identity and belonging, from the starting point of the theme of globalisation.
Drama 2017 16 mins
Compelling story of a complex relationship between an imperious father and his son.
Documentary 2020 28 mins
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.