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Ian McKellen taken to hospital after falling from stage during London performance

Producers say the Oscar-nominee is "in good spirits" after a scan tonight

By Jamie Tabberer

Sir Ian McKellen in the poster for Player Kings
Sir Ian McKellen in a poster for Player Kings (Image: Noël Coward Theatre)

Sir Ian McKellen is said to be “in good spirits” after being rushed to hospital tonight (Monday 17 June 2024) after falling from the stage at London’s Noël Coward Theatre.

The 85-year-old was acting out a battle scene in Player Kings when he fell and cried out in pain.

Two doctors in the audience came to his aid, as other theatre-goers were evacuated.

Producers have since released a statement saying a “brilliant NHS team” expect McKellen to recover in full, but that tomorrow’s performance of Player Kings is cancelled.

Ian McKellen will “make will make a speedy and full recovery”

One theatre-goer told the BBC the fall was “very shocking. I really hope that he is going to be alright. As far as I saw, he was conscious because he was asking for assistance.”

In statement shared by Matt Hemley, deputy editor of The Stage, on X, the producers of Player Kings said: “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.

“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.

Sir Ian McKellen [far right] and the cast of Player Kings
Sir Ian McKellen [far right] and the cast of Player Kings (Image: Noël Coward Theatre)

“Thank you to doctors Rachel and Lee who were on hand in the audience and to all the venue staff for their support.”

McKellen plays the character of Falstaff in Player Kings, a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s history plays Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2, directed by Robert Icke.

The show began a 12-week run in April 2024.

McKellen is known for his work in The X-Men and The Lord of the Rings film franchises, and theatre turns in Frank and Percy and Waiting For Godot.

McKellen has performed in many productions of Shakespeare, including in the titular roles of Hamlet, King Lear and Richard III.