Sir Ian McKellen ‘looking forward to returning to work’ after fall off stage

Sir Ian McKellen is 'in good spirits' after his fall during a Player Kings performance last Friday
Sir Ian McKellen is 'in good spirits' after his fall during a Player Kings performance last Friday - DAVE BENETT/GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

Sir Ian McKellen is nursing a sprained wrist after a fall off stage during a West End performance on Monday night.

The veteran stage and screen actor, 85, is expected to return to perform his role as John Falstaff at the Noel Coward Theatre on June 20.

The extent of his injuries has been revealed after Sir Ian issued an update last night, saying that he was “looking forward to returning to work”.

Speaking a day after he lost his footing and fell off stage during a fight scene in the production of Player Kings, the Lord of The Rings actor said: “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. They have assured me that my recovery will be complete and speedy and I am looking forward to returning to work.”

It was initially expected the veteran actor could return to the stage as soon as Wednesday evening, however producers decided to cancel the matinee performance on Tuesday afternoon “so that Ian can rest”.

Sir Ian was in a battle scene on stage when he tripped, lost his balance and fell off the stage
Sir Ian was in a battle scene on stage when he tripped, lost his balance and fell off the stage - DAVE BENETT/GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

The shock accident was witnessed by a full audience on Monday evening, and many expressed their concern for Sir Ian on social media afterwards.

One audience member described him as looking “badly hurt”, on X (formerly Twitter) saying: “Just witnessed an awful accident with Sir Ian McKellen tripping off the stage in London. He seems badly hurt. We are all in shock and tears.”

Charlie Johnson, a journalist who was in the audience too, told ITV: “I think what happened was he put his foot too far, sort of went off that initial step, at which point he lost his balance and pretty much just went head first into the audience.”

He added: “And within seconds a blood-curdling scream arose from the actor. He was clearly in a lot of pain, he was screaming ‘help me’.”

The audience was immediately evacuated from the premises as Sir Ian was taken to hospital, where he received a scan.

Player Kings, a production of parts one and two of Henry IV is adapted and directed by Robert Icke. The show is set to move to the Bristol Hippodrome in July and will also be staged in Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle.

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