Britain’s Ian McKellen will not return to role after stage fall

British actor Ian McKellen, 85, will not return to the role of John Falstaff in a tour after he fell off a London stage mid-performance last month, the play’s producers said on Monday.

McKellen was starring in “Player Kings”, a production of William Shakespeare’s “Henry IV, Parts One and Two”, in the capital’s West End theatre district, on Jun 17 when he lost his footing and fell off the front of the stage during a fight scene.

The actor, who is best known for playing Gandalf in the film versions of “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” and was also Magneto in the “X-Men” movies, was taken to hospital.

“Two weeks after my accident onstage, my injuries improve day by day,” he said in a statement.

“It’s with the greatest reluctance that I have accepted the medical advice to protect my full recovery by not working in the meantime.”

David Semark, McKellen’s understudy who completed the run in London, will play the role in Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle, producers said.

McKellen’s stage career stretches back to 1961, where his credits include playing Richard III, King Lear and Macbeth.

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