Ian McKellan, 85, breaks silence after West End fall - 'I am hugely indebted'

Sir Ian McKellen appearing on the Graham Norton Show
-Credit: (Image: PA Wire)


Sir Ian McKellen is "looking forward to returning to work" 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 (June 17) when he lost his footing in a fight scene and fell from the stage.

In a statement on Tuesday (June 18) 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."

Sir Ian McKellen on stage at the Noel Coward Theatre
Sir Ian McKellen is currently starring in Player Kings at the Noel Coward Theatre -Credit:Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty Images

He continued: "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 (June 19) matinee performance, but it was announced on Tuesday that the show will now not return until Thursday (June 20).

A general view of the Noel Coward theatre in London
Sir Ian is performing at the Noel Coward Theatre in London -Credit:PA Wire

In the midst of a clash with the Prince of Wales and Henry Percy, Sir Ian accidentally stepped and fell off the edge of the stage. When the house lights were turned on, he was heard shouting in agony as theatre staff hurried to assist him.

The crowd was quickly ushered out of the venue, and they were told that the night's show would not continue. After the accident, fans took to X, previously known as Twitter, to voice their worries for the esteemed actor, with one spectator calling it a "really bad fall".

According to reports, the actor let out a "blood-curdling scream" and pleaded: "Help me." Yet, the Lord of the Rings actor doesn't seem to have suffered any severe injuries.

Sir Ian McKellen at the Cats photocall in London
He is set to return to performing soon -Credit:PA Archive

A spokesperson from the London theatre shared an update on Sir Ian McKellen's health stating: "Following a scan, the brilliant NHS team have assured us that he will make a speedy and full recovery and Ian is in good spirits."

They also shed light on the show's next steps with: "The production has made the decision to cancel the performance on Tuesday June 18 so Ian can rest. Those affected will be contacted by their point of purchase as soon as possible tomorrow."