Theatre News

Ian McKellen hospitalised after falling off West End stage

The news has broken this evening

Ian McKellen as Falstaff © Manuel Harlan
Ian McKellen as Falstaff © Manuel Harlan

Ian McKellen has fallen off 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 interval of the piece, a truncated version of both Henry IV plays.

The Guardian reports that the actor is now in hospital.

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.

Update: the show’s producers have provided a statement.