Sir Ian McKellen gives recovery update after pulling out of Player Kings national tour

Virgin Radio

3 Jul 2024, 11:23

Sir Ian McKellen

Credit: Getty

Sir Ian McKellen has reassured fans that he’s on the mend following his nasty fall during a performance of Player Kings last month. 

The Lord of the Rings actor recently suffered a fall while performing the adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV Parts I and II at London’s Noel Coward theatre, and while he had been hoping to return for the production’s national tour, he was forced to pull out on “doctors advice.”

“Following Ian McKellen’s injury during the West End run of Player Kings, his doctors’ advice is to take time off from work in order to fully recover,'' a statement from the Player Kings play’s social media reported earlier this week. 



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Taking to his own social media account, McKellen provided a new update about his health after the accident, and confirmed he suffered injuries to his wrist and neck. 

Reassuring fans he is “on the mend,” he added: “My doctors promise a complete recovery -but only if I avoid work over the next few weeks.

“Meanwhile the show goes on and the Player Kings company start their four weeks’ tour  without me. My understudy David Semark, who with panache took over for the final performances at the Noël Coward Theatre in the West End of London, will play Falstaff again in Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle.”

Admitting he “never wants to let down our audience,” he also urged fans to continue going to see Player Kings, writing: “Robert Icke’s masterful production remains intact. His mis en scene is compelling throughout and his actors, led by Toheeb Jimho and Richard Coyle as Prince Hal and his father, remain on top form. Go see for yourself!”

McKellen’s fall in June caused members of the audience to be evacuated and the show was abruptly stopped. 

An onlooker said at the time that they were "in shock" as it "must have been quite a fall from high up". They added: "I was at the back of the theatre in the stalls. There was a fight scene and Sir Ian stepped down the step that was on stage, lost his footing and fell off the stage and into the audience.

"He still had his microphone on and could be heard shouting for help as some stage hands came out and then started instructing everyone to leave as they brought a stretcher on."

Since then, Player Kings and Noel Coward social media channels kept fans updated, explaining on X: "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.”

McKellen starred as Sir John Falstaff in the production, alongside Ted Lasso’s Toheeb Jimoh and The Gathering’s Richard Coyle.