Ian McKellen is on the mend after falling during a performance of the West End’s Player Kings in London on June 17, 2024.

Ian McKellen Suffered a Fall During London Performance

McKellen was taking part in a battle scene during the production of Players King at the Noël Coward Theatre when he lost his footing and fell off the stage, the BBC reported. The Lord of the Rings alum, who portrays John Falstaff in the play, cried out in pain before he was taken to the hospital, according to eyewitnesses.

“It happened so quickly that at first it appeared to be part of the performance,” an eyewitness told the BBC. Another audience member told the outlet that it was a “shock” to see the actor take a tumble “directly in front of the audience.”

The rest of the play was canceled as fans were ushered out of the theater. A representative from the venue shared a statement following the incident.

“Thank you to our audience and the general public for their well wishes following Ian’s fall during this evening’s performance of Player Kings,” the statement read. “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. The production has made the decision to cancel the performance on Tuesday 18 June so Ian can rest. Those affected will be contacted by their point of purchase as soon as possible tomorrow. Thank you to doctors Rachel and Lee who were on hand in the audience and to all the venue staff for their support.”

In 2018, McKellen canceled a performance of King Lear at London’s Duke of York Theatre after he suffered a leg injury while running for a train. That night, he sat on stage and did a Q&A session with the audience instead of performing.

Ian McKellen Falls During London Performance
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The Actor Previously Spoke Out About His Future in Show Business

In May 2024, it was announced that Andy Serkis would be reprising his role of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, with Peter Jackson returning to direct. When asked if he would return to portray his Lord of the Rings character Gandalf in the new film, McKellen replied, “If I’m alive,” during an interview with The Times of London.

“There is no script, there is no offer, there is no plan,” he told fans, but confirmed he had heard “stirrings in Tolkien land,” that Gandalf could potentially return.

The Academy Award nominee also reflected on continuing his acting work well into his 80s.

“If you want to know that you are mortal, you just have to look at your address book,” he told the outlet. “And so when a script comes through, or the hint of an offer, you think, ‘This might be my last job. No. I’m not doing that.’”

Jackson teased that anyone from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings universe could potentially make an appearance in the upcoming Gollum film.

“It’s too soon to know who will cross his path, but suffice to say we will take our lead from Professor Tolkien,” he told Deadline in May 2024.