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Player Kings Casting Update

An update from Sir Ian McKellen following his injury during the West End run of Player Kings.


  • Norwich Theatre News

Player Kings is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal from 17 – 20 July.

Today it has been confirmed that following Ian McKellen’s injury during the West End run of Player Kings, his doctors’ advice is to take time off from work in order to fully recover.

While he continues to recuperate, the role of Sir John Falstaff will be performed by Ian’s brilliant understudy, David Semark for the rest of the UK tour, including Norwich.

Sir Ian has shared this personal message:

“Two weeks after my accident onstage, my injuries improve day by day. It’s with the greatest reluctance that I have accepted the medical advice to protect my full recovery by not working in the meantime.

“I had been so looking forward to bringing Player Kings to theatre-goers in Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle. But I can assure them that, with David Semark now playing Falstaff, Robert Icke’s production and his acting company remain as dazzling as ever. Go see for yourself!”

Stephen Crocker, Chief Executive and Creative Director of Norwich Theatre added:

“As a stalwart stage performer and passionate advocate for regional touring theatre, we know how much Sir Ian was looking forward to returning to perform in Norwich once again. I know that Ian would have done everything and anything to make it possible for him to get back on stage and how frustrated he will be at having to let people down. I send him love and best wishes from Norwich Theatre and on behalf of those coming to see the show.

“We look forward to welcoming the Player Kings company to Norwich. With such a resounding endorsement from Sir Ian, we can’t wait to see what David Semark brings to the role, alongside the incredible Toheeb Jimoh and Richard Coyle, in what will be an exceptional show.”

Player Kings