Ian McKellen Still ‘On the Mend’ After Fall, Will Not Return to Stage for ‘Player Kings’

Legendary actor Ian McKellen is focused on making a full recovery after an accident sidelined him from the stage two weeks ago. However, he has announced that he will not return to the featured role of the production’s tour as initially planned.
The 85-year-old “X-Men” star shared an update regarding his health on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, assuring his many well-wishers that the injuries to his wrist and neck are on the mend. McKellen wrote, “My doctors promise a complete recovery -but only if I avoid work over the next few weeks.”
With McKellen out of commission, his understudy David Semark will take over the role in “Player Kings,” a reworked version of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” parts I and II, adapted and directed by Robert Icke. The tour is scheduled to run through July 27.
The incident occurred last month when McKellen fell while performing “Player Kings” on stage at the Noël Coward Theatre in London. The production was nearing the end of its three-month run before going on tour in the UK.
In a statement immediately following his accident, McKellen expressed optimism about a speedy recovery and his eagerness to return to work. This week, he added, “Any actor will say that missing a performance feels somewhat shameful, even when he is not to blame. None of us ever wants to let down our audience. But Robert Icke’s masterful production remains intact.”
“Player Kings” is set to premiere at Bristol Hippodrome on Wednesday, where it will run for four days before moving on to Birmingham. The show also stars Richard Coyle and “Ted Lasso” actor Toheeb Jimoh.