Ian McKellen Drops Out of ‘Player Kings’ National Tour After Fall

Ian McKellen will not return to the national tour of “Players Kings” after an on-stage fall two weeks ago led him to be hospitalized.

The actor had previously announced that he would not be finishing the play’s West End shows, but was expected to make a return to the production for its tour of Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle. But the official X account of “Players Kings” shared the news on Monday that McKellen will need more time to recover. David Semark will take over McKellen’s role of Sir John Falstaff.

“Two weeks after my accident onstage, my 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,” McKellen said in a statement. “I had been so looking forward to bringing ‘Player Kings’ to theater-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!”

McKellen was hospitalized after falling off the stage during a performance on June 17. The 85-year-old was reportedly performing a battle scene when he fell, and the crowd was evacuated and the rest of the performance canceled.

In a statement the following day, McKellen said his recovery would be “complete and speedy.”

“I want to thank everyone for their kind messages and support,” McKellen said. “Since the accident, during a performance of Player Kings last night, my injuries have been diagnosed and treated by a series of experts, specialists and nurses working for the National Health Service. To them, of course, I am hugely indebted. They have assured me that my recovery will be complete and speedy and I am looking forward to returning to work.”

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