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Ian McKellen ‘In Good Spirits’ After Falling Off the Stage in London

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Ian McKellen ‘In Good Spirits’ After Falling Off the Stage in London
Ian McKellen ‘In Good Spirits’ After Falling Off the Stage in London

Ian McKellen was hospitalized after falling off the stage during his performance in a London play.

McKellen, 85, was performing in a battle scene in the West End’s Player Kings when he lost his footing and fell on Monday, June 17, the BBC reported. He cried out, asking for help, and was rushed to the hospital while the Noël Coward Theatre canceled the show and evacuated the audience.

“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,” the theater said in a statement afterward. “Following a scan, the brilliant [National Health Service] team have assured us that he will make a speedy and full recovery and Ian is in good spirits.”

The production canceled the performance of Player Kings — a revival of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts One and Two — on Tuesday, June 18, “so Ian can rest,” the statement continued, adding, “Thank you to doctors Rachel and Lee who were on hand in the audience and to all the venue staff for their support.”

McKellan, who plays John Falstaff, stunned audience members when he tumbled offstage. Posting via his X account at the time, journalist Charlie Johnson reported that he’d “witnessed Ian Mckellan [sic] severely injure himself,” and that “Sir Ian could be heard screaming in pain as ushers rushed to his aid. Show [canceled] as he is treated by ambulance crews. Wish him all the best.”

The six-time Olivier Award winner, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991, started his career in prestigious stage British productions and went on to garner global fame in the movies, especially for his roles as Magneto in X-Men and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In 2018, he injured his leg while running to catch a train en route to play King Lear at London’s Duke of York Theatre. His performance was canceled, so instead of gracing the stage in the title role, he held a question-and-answer session with theatergoers. 

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