A spokesperson for the Noël Coward theatre in London has stated that Sir Ian McKellen is “in good spirits” and expected to make “a speedy and full recovery” after suffering a fall during a performance of Player Kings.


The Shakespeare adaptation sees McKellen, no stranger to the world of The Bard, play the role of Falstaff, but in Monday (17th June) evening's performance, McKellen fell off the front of the stage when enacting a battle scene.

The 85-year-old actor was reported to have cried out in pain with the house lights in the theatre coming up and McKellen being taken to hospital. The audience was evacuated from the show and told that the evening's performance was, therefore, cancelled.

Richard Coyle, Sir Ian McKellen and Toheeb Jimoh bow at the curtain call during the press night performance of Player Kings at the Noel Coward Theatre.
Richard Coyle, Sir Ian McKellen and Toheeb Jimoh. Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Tonight's performance (Tuesday 18th June) has also been cancelled "so Ian can rest", according to the theatre spokesperson, who also confirmed that McKellen was expected to return to the stage for Wednesday's matinee.

The new production of the Shakespeare classic tales is in the midst of its 12-week West End run, having recently also confirmed a full UK tour that will take McKellen and the cast to Norwich, Bristol and Newcastle, to name a few cities.

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At the time of the tour announcement, McKellen said: "Player Kings is a version of Shakespeare’s most English plays. So I am glad we are bringing our production across the country which they celebrate."

The play has been adapted from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 and has been done so by director Robert Icke, best known for his play The Doctor as well as his adaptation of 1984, Mary Stuart and Oresteia.

Speaking of the cast being led by McKellen ahead of the show's first run, Icke said: "It’s a genuine honour to work with one of our greatest Shakespearean actors, Ian McKellen, especially as he tackles one of the most iconic Shakespearean roles — and one he's previously never turned his hand to.

"It’s an exciting challenge to bring together two of Shakespeare’s plays into one production, and I’m so excited to share Player Kings with audiences in the West End and across the country."


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