Sir Ian McKellen thanks NHS as he speaks out for first time after falling off stage

"I am looking forward to returning to work."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 19th June 2024

Sir Ian McKellen has thanked the NHS in a statement speaking out for the first time after suffering an on-stage fall.

The revered Burnley-born actor is currently starring as John Falstaff in a production of Player Kings at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s prestigious West End, but during Monday (17 June) night’s show, the 85-year-old was said to have he lost his footing on stage while performing a fight scene and reportedly fell into the orchestra pit.

Audience members who took to social media shortly after the incident said they heard the McKellen “cry out in pain” after falling, before the theatre was swiftly evacuated.

Sir Ian was taken to hospital for medical treatment following the dramatic fall, and the theatre subsequently issued a statement saying it had made the decision to cancel the shows on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Fans were reassured, however, that the actor was “in good spirits” and expected to “make a full recovery”.

Sir Ian McKellen is is currently starring as John Falstaff in Player Kings at the Noel Coward Theatre / Credit: ATG Tickets

Now, for the first time since suffering the fall, the Tony, Olivier, and Golden Globe award-winning actor has issued a statement thanking the public for all their “kind messages and support”, as well as thanking the country’s health service for the treatment he received.

McKellen said he is “hugely indebted” to the NHS in his update message.


Taking to X to speak to fans directly yesterday evening (18 June), Sir Ian wrote: “I want to thank everyone for their kind messages and support.

“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.”

As well as thanking fans for their support and the NHS for the treatment he received, Sir Ian also gave an update on his anticipated recovery journey, and made sure to say how much he is eager to get back on stage as soon as possible.


“[The NHS] have assured me that my recovery will be complete and speedy,” McKellen’s statement continued, “and I am looking forward to returning to work.”

The Noel Coward Theatre has confirmed in an updated statement on X that it intends to go ahead with tomorrow night’s show (Thursday 19 June).

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David Semark is listed on the Player’s Kings wesbite as the “cover” actor for Sir Ian’s leading role.

Featured Image – Manuel Harlan / Player Kings (via X)