July 14th, 2024

Ian McKellen withdraws from tour of his play to ‘protect my recovery’ after fall from stage.

By The Associated Press on July 1, 2024.

FILE - Actor Sir Ian McKellen speaks during the press conference for the film "Mr. Holmes" at the 2015 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. McKellen has been hospitalized Monday, June 17, 2024, after toppling off a London stage during a fight scene in a play. The 85-year-old actor known for playing Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” films and his many stage roles was playing John Falstaff in a production of Player Kings at the Noel Coward Theatre. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

LONDON (AP) – Actor Ian McKellen said Monday he is withdrawing from a U.K. tour of his latest play because he needs more time to recover after falling off the stage at a London theater last month.

McKellen, 85, said his injuries “improve day by day.”

“It’s with the greatest reluctance that I have accepted the medical advice to protect my full recovery by not working in the meantime,” he said in a statement.

The “Lord of the Rings” star spent three nights in a London hospital after tumbling from the stage during a performance of “Player Kings” at the Noel Coward Theatre on June 17.

The play is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s two “Henry IV” history plays, directed by Robert Icke. Several performances were canceled after the incident before the run resumed with understudy Devid Semark in the role of Falstaff.

Producers said Semark would continue to play the part during a national tour that runs July 3-27.

McKellen, who played Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings,” and Magneto in the “X-Men” films, is one of Britain’s most acclaimed Shakespearean actors, with roles including Richard III, Macbeth and King Lear.

He has won a Tony Award – for “Amadeus” – several Olivier Awards, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards, five Emmys and several BAFTA awards.

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