‘Screaming In Pain’: Ian McKellen Hospitalized After Falling Off Stage

Ian McKellan
Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Wolseley Hospitality Group

“Lord of the Rings” actor Ian McKellen was hospitalized after falling from the stage during a Monday performance at the Noël Coward Theater in London.

The 85-year-old lost his balance and fell during a battle scene in “Player Kings,” a production of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV, Parts One and Two,” per BBC. McKellen reportedly cried out in pain after his fall, prompting staff to rush over and assist him. The report said the theater was “evacuated” and Tuesday night’s performance was also canceled.

McKellen is expected to make a full recovery.

“Thank you to our audience and the general public for their well wishes following Ian’s fall during this evening’s performance of ‘Player Kings,’” a statement from the theater said. 

“Following a scan, the brilliant NHS team have assured us that he will make a speedy and full recovery and Ian is in good spirits,” it said. “The production has made the decision to cancel the performance on Tuesday 18 June so Ian can rest. Those affected will be contacted by their point of purchase as soon as possible tomorrow. Thank you to doctors Rachel and Lee who were on hand in the audience and to all the venue staff for their support.”

An audience member told BBC the fall was “very shocking.”

“As far as I saw, he was conscious because he was asking for assistance,” the witness explained.


London-based journalist Charlie Johnson was in the audience and shared his account of the fall with an X post. “Just witnessed Ian McKellen severely injure himself after falling off stage at Noel Coward Theatre. Sir Ian could be heard screaming in pain as ushers rushed to his aid. Show cancelled as he is treated by ambulance crews. Wish him all the best,” he wrote.

McKellen frequently acts in Shakespearean plays, including productions of “Macbeth,” “King Lear,” “Richard II,” “Coriolanus,” “Iago,” and “Richard III.” He is the winner of a Tony Award and six Olivier Awards, which are the British equivalent awarded for excellence in professional theater. 

The actor became internationally known for his portrayal of Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” McKellen also played Magneto in the “X-Men” films.

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