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Ian McKellen says wrist and neck injuries are ‘on the mend’ After stage fall

"None of us ever wants to let down our audience," the actor wrote on social media after dropping out of the touring production of Players King

By Emily Zemler

Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen (Picture: Lia Toby/Getty Images)

Two weeks after suffering a fall during a performance of stage production Players King in London, Ian McKellen has confirmed that he is “on the mend.” In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, McKellen offered an update on his injuries and admitted to feeling some “shame” for not being part of the show’s theatrical tour.

“I want to assure my many well-wishers that the injuries (to wrist and neck) are on the mend,” he wrote. “My doctors promise a complete recovery – but only if I avoid work over the next few weeks. Meanwhile the show goes on and the Player Kings company start their four weeks’ tour without me. My understudy David Semark, who with panache took over for the final performances at the Noël Coward Theatre in the West End of London, will play Falstaff again in Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle.”

He continued, “Any actor will say that missing a performance feels somewhat shameful, even when he is not to blame. None of us ever wants to let down our audience. But Robert Icke’s masterful production remains intact.”

McKellen reportedly fell during a fight scene in Player Kings, a show that merges Shakespeare’s Henry IVParts One and Two (McKellen was playing John Falstaff). According to those at the venue, the house lights turned on and people could hear him cry for help. The rest of the show was called off and the following night’s production was canceled. 

After the fall, the 85-year-old actor was taken to the hospital, where a rep said a scan was performed, and doctors said McKellen would make a “speedy and full recovery.” Still, it was eventually announced that McKellen would miss the final three Player Kings performances in London. Semark, his understudy, took over for him and will continue to play Falstaff on the upcoming tour, which starts today.

Reps for the show said, “Ian continues to recuperate very well, but he needs the time to rest and ensure a complete recovery. We continue to send him our best wishes.”

From Rolling Stone.