Sir Ian McKellen cancels final Player Kings performances after fall

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen has been starring in the West End production since April - Rii Schroer

Sir Ian McKellen will not return to his West End run in Player Kings as he continues to recuperate after a fall.

The 85-year-old actor fell from the stage during a performance on Monday and was treated in hospital. He reportedly suffered a fractured wrist and other injuries.

On Tuesday, Sir Ian said he was looking forward to returning to work, raising hopes that he would return to the production at the Noel Coward Theatre.

However, in a new statement he said: “Thank you for the continued support and well wishes and I am pleased to say I am recovering well, but will not be able to play the remaining shows this week.”

The play has three performances left to run and Sir Ian’s role as Sir John Falstaff will be taken by his understudy, David Semark.

“The company, including Toheeb Jimoh, Richard Coyle and my fabulous understudy David Semark, are ready to take you on an epic journey through medieval England and the rise and fall of Henry IV. I urge you all to join them,” Sir Ian said.

The producers 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.”

‘My recovery will be complete’

In his earlier statement, Sir Ian thanked fans for their kind messages and support. He said: “Since the accident… 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.

“They have assured me that my recovery will be complete and speedy and I am looking forward to returning to work.”

Sir Ian also thanked two doctors who were in the audience on Monday and tended to him when he fell.

The actor is said to have lost his footing during a battle scene, falling off the front of the stage, and was heard to cry out in pain.

The production began its 12-week West End run in April, to rave reviews. In an interview with The Telegraph in February, Sir Ian joked that it was “ridiculous” for him to be performing on stage but said: “Shakespeare is what I’ve been doing for so long now, it confirms I’m still alive.”