‘Disappointed’ theatre fans send get well wishes to Sir Ian McKellen

Theatregoers have spoken of their disappointment and sent their good wishes to Sir Ian McKellen as he recuperates following a fall from a West End stage on Monday.

The veteran stage and screen actor, 85, was portraying John Falstaff in a production of Player Kings at the Noel Coward Theatre on Monday when he lost his footing in a fight scene and fell from the stage.

Sir Ian revealed on Thursday that he is having physiotherapy while he takes a break from performing following the fall.

The final London dates of Player Kings will see Sir Ian’s understudy, David Semark, take on the role of Falstaff.

Rania Margaronis, 56, flew for four hours from Greece specifically to see Sir Ian perform.

She said: “It was shocking really because knowing someone so professional and so talented and at his age, it’s really scary.

“I wish him all the best. I’m a great fan, I came all the way from Greece to see him and I was really disappointed. We love him and we’re very proud to have him.”

Wendy Geri, 84, travelled from Israel to see him perform, and booked a front row ticket as soon as she saw the play advertised. She said she was “devastated” at the news that Sir Ian would not perform, describing it as a “big disappointment”.

She said: “It’s a very big disappointment. I’ve watched him on YouTube, I’ve watched him in conversations. I’m a student of what he’s done. And he slipped up. I’m devastated.”

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen is receiving physiotherapy and resting following his fall on Monday (Matt Crossick/PA)

Sophie Starnes, 34, a teacher who flew from California, said at the news Sir Ian would not perform: “We were slightly disappointed, but obviously his health has to come first. And I’m sure it’s still going to be a wonderful performance.

“We really hope he gets well soon and he’s back on stage as soon as possible. It’s still going to be a fantastic performance.”

Corin Doregger, 61, a retired teacher, flew from Vienna to see Sir Ian.

She said: “I’m a bit disappointed because I booked tickets last year, and flew over from Vienna specially. When I heard he’d had a fall, I thought ‘that’s it’.”

She said her message to the actor is: “Get better soon and I’m sorry to have missed you.”

She said: ‘”I tried to see him in Keswick some years ago and didn’t get to because it was a ballot, so this was my only chance. But we really need to cheer on the guy who’s the understudy. It’s really hard being an understudy.”