Sir Ian McKellen rushed to hospital after falling off stage during West End performance

17 June 2024, 22:09 | Updated: 17 June 2024, 23:26

Sir Ian McKellen has been taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance
Sir Ian McKellen has been taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Sir Ian McKellen has been rushed to hospital after falling off stage during a West End performance.

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The 85-year-old actor fell during a fight scene after losing his footing.

He is currently appearing as John Falstaff in Player Kings - a production of Shakespeare's Henry IV - at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Sir Ian was circling a battle scene involving the Prince of Wales and Henry Percy, when he fell, it is understood.

He is said to have cried out in pain as the house lights quickly came up.

The incident occurred just 10 minutes before the interval.

Sir Ian McKellen at the curtain call during the press night performance of "Player Kings"
Sir Ian McKellen at the curtain call during the press night performance of "Player Kings". Picture: Getty

The audience was evacuated from the theatre, with the rest of the show being cancelled.

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Read more: Sir Ian McKellen rushed to hospital after falling off stage during West End performance

One audience member tweeted that they witnessed the actor "severely injure himself".

However, there has been no official update on the state of his injuries.

Audience member Paul Critchley said it was a "shock" to witness Sir Ian fall from the stage.

"Sir Ian seemed to trip as he moved downstage to take a more active part in the scene," Mr Critchley said. "He picked up momentum as he moved downstage which resulted in him falling off the stage directly in front of the audience.

"The house lights came up very quickly as the stage management and front of house team dealt with the incident. We were evacuated immediately so that Sir Ian could be treated in privacy.

"An announcement was made by theatre management that the show had been cancelled, that Sir Ian was receiving treatment and an ambulance had been called.

"It was a shock to witness his fall and I wish him a speedy recovery. My thoughts are also with his fellow cast members, stage crew and front of house team at the Noel Coward Theatre."

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen. Picture: Getty

Another audience member, Charlie Johnson, told LBC News: "Sir Ian started screaming ‘help me, help me’ – he was clearly in a lot of pain.

"It became apparent that something really terrible had happened."

He said, initially, only the first two rows were evacuated before the whole theatre was emptied out.

People were seen in tears as they awaited updates on the situation.

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

Sir Ian's representatives have been approached for comment.

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