British actor Ian McKellen recovering after falling off London stage

FILE PHOTO: Actor Ian McKellen attends a Service of Thanksgiving for Sir Peter Hall at Westminster Abbey in London

LONDON (Reuters) -British actor Ian McKellen, 85, fell off a London stage mid-performance and is now recovering after being taken to hospital, a theatre statement said on Tuesday.

McKellen is starring as John Falstaff in "Player Kings", a production of William Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Parts One and Two", in the capital's West End theatre district.

In a fight scene during Monday evening's performance, McKellen lost his footing and fell off the front of the stage, crying out as staff rushed to help, media reported.

The show was cancelled and the actor was taken to hospital.

"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 theatre statement said.

The performance on Tuesday was cancelled to give McKellen a chance to rest and the play will resume on Wednesday, it added.

McKellen is best known for playing Gandalf in the film versions of "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" and was also Magneto in the "X-Men" movies.

His stage career stretches back to 1961, where his credits include playing Richard III, King Lear and Macbeth.

(Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Kylie MacLellan and William James)