Ian McKellen Hospitalized After Falling Off Stage During Performance in West End

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Sir Ian McKellen has been hospitalized after falling off of a stage during a performance of the play Player Kings in London’s Noël Coward theater. It’s not yet known if the Lord of the Rings actor sustained injuries from the accident.

McKellen, 85, was performing a fight scene when he lost balance and fell off the stage, according to BBC. McKellen plays John Falstaff in the play, which is made up of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts One and Two. McKellen was reportedly circling the fight scene involving two other players when he fell off the stage. The house lights came up and McKellen reportedly called out for help. The evening performance was canceled and the audience was evacuated from the theater.

An audience member told BBC that, “As far as I saw, he was conscious because he was asking for assistance.” They said the moment was “very shocking.”

Player Kings opened in April in the West End and is set for a 12-week run. In addition to McKellen, the cast includes Ted Lasso‘s Toheeb Jimoh and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina‘s Richard Coyle, seen above with McKellen on stage during an early performance.

McKellen has many Shakespeare plays on his resume, one of the more recent credits being a production of King Lear in 2018. A performance once had to be canceled after McKellen injured his leg during a fall as he tried to catch a train. He participated in an audience Q&A instead of performing the show that day for the sake of the audience.

McKellen is best known for playing Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, as well as playing Magneto in the X-Men franchise and his prolific stage career. He’s a two-time Oscar nominee, having received his first nomination for Best Actor in 1999’s Gods and Monsters and his second for Best Supporting Actor in 2002’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. He’s a five-time Emmy nominee.

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