Sir Ian McKellen looking forward to returning to work after falling off stage

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

Sir Ian McKellen has said he is “looking forward to returning to work” as he thanked the NHS staff who cared for him after he fell from a West End stage earlier this week.

The veteran stage and screen actor, 85, was portraying John Falstaff in a production of Player Kings at the Noel Coward Theatre on Monday when he lost his footing in a fight scene and fell from the stage.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, he said he is “hugely indebted” to the medical staff who have assured him his recovery will be “complete and speedy”.

“I want to thank everyone for their kind messages and support,” Sir Ian said in the statement posted to X, formerly Twitter.

“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.”

After the accident, he was taken to hospital to receive treatment and the remainder of Monday and Tuesday’s performances were cancelled to allow him to rest.

Sir Ian had been expected to return for Wednesday’s matinee performance, but it was announced on Tuesday that the show will now not return until Thursday.

In a statement posted to X, the show added: “We are delighted that Ian is recovering well, and look forward to him returning to the production as soon as he is ready. We will keep audiences updates regarding remaining performances this week.”

A spokesperson for the London theatre said in a statement on Monday night that Sir Ian was in “good spirits” and thanked doctors Rachel and Lee who were “on hand in the audience” and to the venue staff “for their support”.

A BBC journalist, who saw the play, said the actor was in a scene involving the Prince of Wales and Henry Percy when he fell off the front of the stage.

Sir Ian was heard to cry out in pain as staff rushed to help.

Audience member Paul Critchley told the PA news agency it was a “shock” to witness the fall.

The Methodist minister from Downham Market, Norfolk recalled how Sir Ian seemed to trip as he moved downstage to take a more active part in the scene before falling off the stage directly in front of the audience.

Player Kings, a production of Henry IV, parts one and two, adapted and directed by Robert Icke, is due to end its run at the Noel Coward Theatre on Saturday.

The play will then move to the Bristol Hippodrome in July before being staged in Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle.

Sir Ian’s career has spanned more than six decades and seen the actor perform at theatres around the country.

On screen he is best known for playing Magneto in the X-Men films and Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s fantasy trilogy, based on the books from JRR Tolkien.

On the stage he has played a number of Shakespearean characters including Richard II, Macbeth, Coriolanus, and King Lear.

His many acting credits have led to a number of accolades over the years including several Olivier Awards.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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