Sir Ian McKellen to Sit Out Play's Remaining London Performances Due to Injuries

The 85 year-old actor fell off the stage while performing a fight scene earlier this week

Photo: Gage Skidmore (via Flickr)

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jun 20, 2024

Sir Ian McKellen is reportedly in "good spirits" after falling off stage during a theatrical performance in London.

UPDATE (6/20), 10:07 a.m. ET): It has now been announced that McKellen will not be returning to the stage for the three remaining West End shows. The actor will hopefully return to The Player Kings on July 3 in Bristol, where the production will begin a national tour.

UPDATE (6/19, 11:44 a.m. ET): Through his publicist, McKellen has thanked fans for their "kind messages and support" [via Deadline]. The actor also confirmed that his injuries "have been diagnosed and treated by a series of experts, specialists and nurses working for the National Service."

"To them, of course, I am hugely indebted," McKellen continued. "They have assured me that my recovery will be complete and speedy and I am looking forward to returning to work."

This evening's (June 19) performance of the show will be cancelled, with a spokesperson for the production adding that The Player Kings show will resume "as soon as [McKellen] is ready."

The BBC reports that McKellen, 85, took a tumble during a performance of The Player Kings — a new adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 — at the Noël Coward theatre in London, and "cried out in pain, calling for help" as staff rushed to assist him.

McKellen was reportedly performing a fight sequence when he appeared to lose his footing. The rest of the evening's performance was then cancelled as the English actor was taken to hospital.

BBC reporter Aleks Phillips, who was in the audience, described the fall as one that "happened so quickly that at first it appeared to be part of the performance."

A theatre spokesperson told the broadcaster that McKellen underwent tests and that medics said he would "make a speedy and full recovery." He's expected back on stage Wednesday (June 19) for a matinee performance of the show.

Late last year, McKellen had a hand in knitting stage outfits for Kylie Minogue.

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