Ian McKellen will skip final ‘Player Kings’ shows after fall from stage

Ian McKellen

LONDON — Despite an earlier announcement, Ian McKellen will not return to the West End production of “Player Kings.”

The “X-Men” actor fell from the stage while playing John Falstaff in the London production on Monday night, breaking his wrist and suffering from other injuries, Deadline reported.

McKellen spent three nights in the hospital and is undergoing physiotherapy and doing some light exercise, the BBC reported.

He had been performing a fight scene when he fell, the BBC reported.

The show is scheduled to end this week before embarking on a national tour which is expected to begin in two weeks.

That means McKellen, 85, will miss the final three performances of the production which combines both of William Shakespeare’s two “Henry IV” plays, The Associated Press reported.

“The many messages of love and support will, I am sure, aid the speedy recovery that my doctors have promised me,” McKellen said in a statement.

Understudy David Semark will play the role of Falstaff in the remaining London shows.

McKellen said “Player Kings” had him “finally playing the role he always said no to,” despite nearly turning it down again.

He added that writer and director Robert Icke, who adapted the two plays into one, “turned Falstaff into a believable character rather than an exaggeration.”

This isn’t the first time McKellen was injured while in a play.

The BBC said he hurt his leg when he ran to catch a train while appearing in “King Lear” in London five years ago.

As the saying goes, the show must go on. Instead of performing in the play, McKellen had a Q&A with the audience as he sat on stage that night.

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