Theater News

Ian McKellen Hospitalized After Falling Off Stage During West End Performance of Player Kings

McKellen was part of a climactic battle scene when the incident occurred.

Ian McKellen as Falstaff in Player Kings. Credit Manuel Harlan
Ian McKellen as Falstaff in Player Kings
(© Manuel Harlan)

Ian McKellen has been hospitalized after falling of the stage during a performance of Player Kings in the West End.

According to spectators, McKellen, 85, fell off the front of the stage after losing his footing during the first act of the show, crying out in pain and halting the performance. Audience members were then evacuated with front-of-house staff tending to the actor as the house lights came up. According to eyewitnesses, he was asking for assistance.

The event seemingly took place during the climactic battle that comes just before the intermission of the piece, a truncated version of Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays.

The Guardian reports that the actor is now in hospital. The production has been approached for comment.

Shakespeare’s history play follows Hal, the young prince and King-in-waiting, as he goes through a series of capers with his older friend Falstaff, while the looming threat of war grows. The show is due to tour after its run in the West End.

Robert Icke’s new version sees McKellen take on the role of Falstaff, while joining him is Toheeb Jimoh (Ted Lasso, Romeo and Juliet) as Hal and Richard Coyle (Ink, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore) as King Henry IV.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.