Play’s return postponed again after McKellen fall

Play’s return postponed again after McKellen fall

12 minutes agoBy André Rhoden-Paul, BBC NewsGetty Images

Theatre show Player Kings has postponed its return for another day as Sir Ian McKellen continues his recovery from falling off stage.

The actor, 85, cried out in pain and called for help during Monday’s show at the Noël Coward theatre in London.

Sir Ian had been performing in a fight scene when he seemed to lose his footing. He was taken to hospital and the play was cancelled.

Producers of the show said on X it would now return on Thursday, and said Sir Ian was recovering well and will perform again when he is ready.

Tuesday’s show had been cancelled shortly after Sir Ian’s stage accident but it had been hoped that the show would resume for Wednesday’s matinee performance.

In a statement on X on Tuesday afternoon, Player Kings said: “We are delighted that Ian is recovering well, and look forward to him returning to the production as soon as he is ready.

“We will keep audiences updated regarding remaining performances this week.”

The show added those with tickets will be contacted.

Player Kings is a production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts One and Two, and started its 12-week West End run in April.

An earlier statementh said that following a scan, the NHS had assured the show’s producers the Tony-award winning actor “will make a speedy and full recovery and Ian is in good spirits”.

Producers also thanked doctors in the audience who helped the actor.

Sir Ian – who plays John Falstaff – had been circling a battle scene involving the Prince of Wales and Henry Percy when he was seen to fall off the front of the stage.

The actor cried out and staff rushed to help, before the theatre was evacuated. The performance was cancelled “so that Ian can rest”, a spokesperson said.

Audience member Paul Critchley, from Downham Market in Norfolk, said it was a “shock” to see Sir Ian fall off stage “directly in front of the audience”.

Sir Ian’s previous Shakespeare credits include roles as Richard II, Coriolanus, Iago, Richard III, King Lear and Macbeth. He is also set to star as Hamlet, in a new film adaptation directed by Sean Mathias.

His on-screen credits include Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, and Magneto in the X-Men movies, as well as roles in Beauty and the Beast, The Da Vinci Code and Mr Holmes.

Five years ago, Sir Ian was forced to cancel a King Lear showing at London’s Duke of York theatre after sustaining a leg injury while running to catch a train, but ensured the audience was in for a good time, by sitting on stage and answering questions.

Ian McKellen ‘in good spirits’ after falling off stage during performance

TheatreActing

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