Ian McKellen Hospitalized After Falling Off Stage During West End Performance

Ian McKellen was hospitalized after falling off stage during a performance of “Player Kings” at the Noël Coward Theatre on the West End in London, according to the BBC.

McKellen was reportedly in a battle scene when he lost his footing and fell. The audience was evacuated from the theater and the evening show was canceled. A representative for the theater shared a statement that McKellen will “make a speedy and full recovery” and that the 85-year-old actor is “in good spirits.”

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“Thank you to our audience and the general public for their well wishes following Ian’s fall during this evening’s performance of ‘Player Kings,'” reads the statement. “Following a scan, the brilliant NHS team have assured us that he will make a speedy and full recovery and Ian is in good spirits. The production has made the decision to cancel the performance on Tuesday 18 June so Ian can rest. Those affected will be contacted by their point of purchase as soon as possible tomorrow. Thank you to doctors Rachel and Lee who were on hand in the audience and to all the venue staff for their support.”

Variety has reached out to McKellen’s representative for further comment.

McKellen plays John Falstaff in “Player Kings,” which is a production of William Shakespeare’s “Henry IV, Parts One and Two.” It started its 12-week run on the West End in April. After circling a fight scene involving two other characters, McKellen apparently fell off the front of the stage. Per the BBC, “As the house lights came up, the actor cried out and staff rushed to help.”

An audience member speaking to the BBC called the incident “very shocking,” adding, “As far as I saw, he was conscious because he was asking for assistance.”

Charlie Johnson, a London-based journalist who attended the show, posted on X, “Just witnessed Ian Mckellan severely injure himself after falling off stage at Noel Coward Theatre. Sir Ian could be heard screaming in pain as ushers rushed to his aid. Show cancelled as he is treated by ambulance crews. Wish him all the best.”

McKellen is a frequent Shakespeare actor, with stage roles including Macbeth, King Lear, Richard II, Coriolanus, Iago and Richard III. He also played Hamlet this year in a film adaptation from director Sean Mathias.

McKellen also famously played Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, as well as Magneto in the “X-Men” movies.

In 2018, McKellen canceled a matinee performance of “King Lear” after he sustained a leg injury due to falling while running to catch a train. Instead of performing Shakespeare, McKellen treated the London audience to a Q&A.

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