Openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen was spotted last weekend in Shanghai’s People’s Square marriage market advertising for a husband. Chinese parents regularly set up shop in the market, advertising for arranged marriages for their children.
Kevin Shen, a Chinese citizen who lives in Shanghai, sent in the photos with a lament that he missed the award-winning actor. The photos were posted on the Chinese social network Weibo by the British Council.
“He’s in Shanghai this weekend and I walked right past him without realising that! Look at the hand written sign. In a space that is extremely traditional,” Shen writes. “This is the matchmaking corner in people’s park where parents come to advertise their kids on umbrella to do matchmaking.
“Reminded me Tilda Swinton in Red Square with the rainbow flag actually. But of course, this is subtle and humorous and with a bit of cultural clash (not sure if any of those old folks or even younger gen gets it) but it was nice how he did it.”
McKellen has been traveling all over China for the past month as a lead up to a celebration of Shakespeare’s works at the Shanghai International Film Festival. He’s been photographed repeatedly holding up placards with famous phrases from the playwright’s works.
More photos of McKellen with his placards are on page two.