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

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UPDATE: 6/18 5:45 p.m. ET — Ian McKellen took to X to break his silence after his hospitalization on Tuesday, June 18.

“I want to thank everyone for their kind messages and support,” he shared in a statement. “Since the accident, during a performance of Player Kings last night, my injuries have been diagnosed and treated by a series of experts, specialists and nurses working for the National Health Service. To them, of course, I am hugely indebted. They have assured me that my recovery will be complete and speedy and I am looking forward to returning to work.”

UPDATE: 6/18 1:48 p.m. ET — The Wednesday, June 19, performance of Ian McKellen’s play, Player Kings, has been canceled following the actor’s fall.

“We are delighted that Ian is recovering well, and look forward to him returning to the production as soon as he is ready,” the show announced via X on Tuesday, June 18. “We will keep audiences updated regarding remaining performances this week.”

Those with tickets for the Wednesday program will be contacted, per the post. The show will “look forward to welcoming audiences back” to the theater on Thursday, June 20.

Original story below:

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.”

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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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