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Sir Ian McKellen and Timothy West CBE support Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds, during its 200th year

Celebrity supporters have given the Theatre Royal a boost as it continues its 200-year celebrations.

Sir Ian McKellen, who last week spent two evenings at the Bury St Edmunds theatre talking about his life and career, also met walkers taking part in the fund-raising 200 for 200 sponsored walk and made donations to the cause before they set off on Saturday.

The walk, which ends on Easter Monday, sees three main walkers joined by volunteers, supporters, patrons and sponsors along different legs of the journey, covering the 200-mile historic route of the Norwich Circuit of Players, who would once have performed at the theatre.

Sir Ian is no stranger to the historic Westgate Street venue as he has his own brick in the wall, a dressing room named after him and a star in the new Star Trail.

He also helped to spearhead the Restoration and Renovation Appeal 15 years ago, becoming a patron and performing in a 2005 restoration gala, which helped to raise £50,000.

On Friday and Saturday, Sir Ian brought his 80th birthday one-man show to the theatre, presenting anecdotes, monologues and asides, along with his thoughts on each of Shakespeare’s 37 plays and performances of some of their speeches.

Meanwhile, Star Trail supporters had the opportunity to meet their chosen ‘star’ at the weekend.

Century Logistics, of Saxham Business Park, is in its 20th year and decided to support the fund-raising trail, choosing well-known actor Timothy West’s ‘star’.

On Sunday, company owners Stephen and Ann Basey-Fisher met Timothy, his wife Prunella Scales – who played Sybil in Fawlty Towers – and their son Sam after their performance at the theatre.

The Star Trail, which will run from May to October, will feature 25 stars to find around the town’s streets, each featuring a star who has appeared on the Theatre Royal stage.

Sponsor the walk at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/200-4-200

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