Sir Ian McKellen falls off stage at Noel Coward Theatre in London during Player Kings performance

Sir Ian McKellen has been taken to hospital after falling off stage at a central London theatre.

The Lord Of The Rings star, 85, was in a fight scene during Player Kings at the Noel Coward Theatre when he lost his footing and fell, a witness told Sky News.

Sir Ian, who is playing John Falstaff, reportedly cried out in pain as staff rushed to help as the house lights came up.

He was circling a battle scene involving the Prince of Wales and Henry Percy when he fell.

The seriousness of his injuries is unclear.

A member of the audience said they were "in shock" and hoped Sir Ian was okay because it "must have been quite a fall from high up".

They added: "I was at the back of the theatre in the stalls. There was a fight scene and Sir Ian stepped down the step that was on stage, lost his footing and fell off the stage and into the audience.

"He still had his microphone on and could be heard shouting for help as some stage hands came out and then started instructing everyone to leave as they brought a stretcher on."

The witness added: "We were evacuated to the street and after 10-15 minutes were told that the show could not resume and we would be refunded, and that an ambulance was on the way for Sir Ian."

Members of the audience were evacuated and told the remainder of the performance had been cancelled.

In an update shortly before midnight, the Noel Coward Theatre said Sir Ian is expected to make a full recovery.

"Following a scan, the brilliant NHS team have assured us that he will make a speedy and full recovery and Ian is in good spirits," they said.

"The production has made the decision to cancel the performance on Tuesday 18 June so Ian can rest.

"Those affected will be contacted by their point of purchase as soon as possible tomorrow."

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Player Kings is a production of Shakespeare's Henry IV, parts one and two.

It is due to move to the Bristol Hippodrome in July and will also be performed in Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle.