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Actor Ian McKellen, 85, can't wait to return to work after falling on stage in London

Actor Ian McKellen, 85, can't wait to return to work after falling on stage in London
Actor Ian McKellen, 85, can't wait to return to work after falling on stage in London

 


Actor Ian McKellen said Tuesday he was eager to return to work after falling off a London stage mid-performance and being hospitalized.

McKellen, 85, said he was “immensely indebted” to the doctors who treated him after Monday night's fall during a performance of “Player Kings” at London's Noel Coward Theater.

“They have assured me that my recovery will be full and speedy and I look forward to returning to work,” he said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Performances on Tuesday and Wednesday were canceled after the accident and are expected to resume on Thursday.

The stage and screen veteran, who played Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” films, cried out in pain after his fall, according to a BBC reporter at the theater. McKellen played the role of mischievous John Falstaff in “Player Kings,” an adaptation of William Shakespeare's two historical plays “Henry IV,” directed by Robert Icke.

Viewers were surprised when McKellen lost his footing and fell off the stage in a fight scene involving Toheeb Jimoh's Prince Hal and Henry Percy, played by Samuel Edward-Cook.

“Sir Ian appeared to trip as he came down from the stage to take a more active part in the scene,” audience member Paul Critchley told the PA news agency, saying it came as a shock. “He gained momentum coming off the stage, which caused him to fall off the stage directly in front of the audience.”

Staff and two doctors in the audience helped the actor, the theater said in a statement. The theater was evacuated and the performance canceled.

McKellen played Magneto in the “X-Men” films and is one of Britain's most acclaimed Shakespearean actors, with roles including Richard III, Macbeth and King Lear.

He won a Tony Award for “Amadeus”, several Olivier Awards and was nominated for two Academy Awards, five Emmy Awards and several BAFTA Awards.

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