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Sir Ian McKellen withdraws from theatre tour after stage fall

Sir Ian McKellen withdraws from theatre tour after stage fall
© Noel Coward Theatre
Sir Ian McKellen announces his withdrawal from the nationwide tour of Player Kings following his horror fall from the stage in London last month.

Acting great Sir Ian McKellen has announced that he has withdrawn from the theatre tour of Player Kings.

The 85-year-old took a shock tumble from the stage during a performance of the show in London last month and was forced to pull out of the remainder of the West End run as he recuperated.

McKellen had hoped to be well enough by the time the show went on a nationwide tour this week but has now dropped out on advice from doctors.

"Two weeks after my accident onstage, my injuries improve day by day," he wrote on X. "It's with the greatest reluctance that I have accepted the medical advice to protect my full recovery by not working in the meantime.

"I had been so looking forward to bringing Player Kings to theatre-goers in Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle. But I can assure them that, with David Semark now playing Falstaff, Robert Icke's production and his acting company remain as dazzling as ever. Go see for yourself!"

A statement issued by the show said: "Following Ian McKellen's injury during the West End run of Player Kings, his doctors' advice is to take time off from work in order to fully recover.

"As such, he will not be returning to play Sir John Falstaff in the national tour of Player Kings (3-27 July 2024). 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.

"As it was for the final West End performances, the role of Falstaff will now be performed by David Semark, Ian's brilliant understudy, for all tour dates of Player Kings."

An adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV Parts one and two, Player Kings resumes its run in Bristol on Wednesday night.

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