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Sir Ian McKellen to miss further London shows after stage fall

Sir Ian McKellen to miss further London shows after stage fall
Sir Ian McKellen to miss further London shows after stage fall Copyright Michael Sohn/AP
Copyright Michael Sohn/AP
By David Mouriquand
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The 85-year-old actor will not be returning to the stage in London after his fall earlier this week. He is expected to make a full and speedy recovery.


British veteran actor Sir Ian McKellen will not be returning to the stage when the run of "Player Kings" resumes in the West End tonight.  

The actor, 85, who plays John Falstaff in the show directed by Robert Icke, was performing at London's Noel Coward Theatre when he lost his footing during a fight scene earlier this week.

He was heard crying out in pain as staff rushed to help. He was taken to hospital after falling off the stage and doctors stated that McKellen was in "good sprits" and expected to make a full recovery. 

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s performances were cancelled to allow him to rest, and the Lord Of the Rings star and Olivier award winner thanked everyone who had left messages of support. 

He wrote on X: “I want to thank everyone for their kind messages and support. 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.” 

Ian McKellen on the show poster
Ian McKellen on the show posterJacob Freedland/AP

While he said on Tuesday that he was "looking forward to returning to work", it has been confirmed that his understudy David Semark will go on instead for the final London performances tonight, Friday, and Saturday. 

"After three nights in hospital, the effects of my fall onstage have been fully analysed and I'm now having physiotherapy, light exercise and a lot of essential rest at home," said McKellen. "Meanwhile my part in Player Kings is filled by the redoubtable David Semark supported by Robert Icke's amazing production and cast.” 

“The many messages of love and support will, I am sure, aid the speedy recovery that my doctors have promised me." 

A post on the Player Kings X account today also confirmed the news: “David Semark will be playing the role of Sir John Falstaff for the final three scheduled performances of Player Kings at the Noël Coward Theatre in London while Ian McKellen recuperates following his fall on Monday 17 June.”

It added: “We look forward to Ian returning to the production, which begins a national tour in Bristol on Wednesday 3 July, before visiting Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle.”

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