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Sir Michael Gambon reveals why he is retiring

Sir Michael Gambon has retired from the stage because he can no longer remember his lines. He has described sending the curtain down on a stage career as heart breaking.
Michael Gambon

“It’s a horrible thing to admit but I can’t do it. It breaks my heart. It’s when the script’s in front of me and it takes forever to learn. It’s frightening,” the 74 year-old thespian told the Guardian.

Gambon trained at the National Theatre in the UK and is perhaps best known for playing the kindly and wise professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movie series, Harry Potter.

Sir Michael Gambon began playing Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series after Richard Harris’ death.

Gambon, who has previously admitted to wearing an ear piece on stage through which a prompter could give him his lines, said that he knew his time on the stage was up when he couldn’t be loose on stage.

“There was a girl in the wings and I had a plug in my ear so she could read me the lines,”he said in an interview with The Sunday Times six months ago. “And after about an hour I thought, this can’t work. You can’t be in theatre, free on stage shouting and screaming and running around, with someone reading you your lines,” he said.

Gambon, who has won four Baftas and three Laurence Olivier theatre awards rather enjoyed the last play that he did, where he didn’t have any lines and merely some emphatic looks and gestures.

“It was brilliant. I just had to do a range of facial expressions,” he told the Guardian.

Gambon will continue to work in TV and movies, where the stakes when it comes to remember lines are lower. He will next appear in a mini-series adaption of J.K Rowling’s book The Casual Vacancies and in a film version of Dad’s Army.

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