TWO of the area’s most famous sons surprised the audience at HOME in Manchester by getting out the collecting buckets at the end of a show.

Sir Ian McKellen had been performing his one-man show celebrating his 80th birthday at the venue last night when he was joined by award-winning film director Danny Boyle, a patron of HOME.

Sir Ian grew up in Bolton and Oscar winner Danny was born in Radcliffe.

The pair persuaded audience members to part with their spare change as they left the theatre and proceeds from ticket sales from the show and the collection raised more than £40,000 to support the venue’s community programme, #HOMEinspires.

Sir Ian said: “I did my earliest theatre-going in Manchester, starting with Peter Pan at the Palace Theatre. The new show at HOME included Shakespeare (and others) and memories of the old Library Theatre which I visited often in my youth.

“All profits will benefit HOME’s work with local communities through initiatives such as #HOMEinspires and will provide subsidised tickets to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to visit HOME.”

Dave Moutrey, HOME’s chief executive said: “We were absolutely thrilled to be chosen by Ian as one of the 80 regional venues he would perform at on his birthday tour.

“We want to ensure that as many people as possible have an opportunity to take part in and experience HOME, both as audiences and as artists.

“The funds Ian and Danny raised will play a big part in helping us to connect with groups, charities and voluntary organisations from right across Greater Manchester.”