Infection Forces Holden to Miss More Modern MillieDate: 25 February 2004
According to press reports, Holden’s busy schedule – with the stage show and television commitments – may have weakened her immune system. Doctors have advised the actress to get plenty of rest in order to prevent a recurrence of the infection, say the newspapers, which may mean she’ll be forced to withdraw from the stage musical and/or cut back on her television appearances in shows such as Mad About Alice and Cutting It.
A spokesperson for Thoroughly Modern Millie said that the press reports have overblown the situation. However, he confirmed that Holden is currently out of the show after getting an infection while on holiday – which also caused her to miss Sunday’s ceremony for the Laurence Olivier Awards, where she was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical (See News, 22 Feb 2003). “She will be back performing as soon as she can,” the spokesperson told Whatsonstage.com.
In the meantime, Holden’s understudy Donna Steele, who has received positive theatregoer notices on the Whatsonstage.com Discussion Forum, will be performing in Holden’s stead. In other cast changes, from next Monday, 1 March 2004, Anita Dobson takes over the role of sinister landlady Mrs Meers from Maureen Lipman (See News, 10 Feb 2004). The company also currently features Craig Urbani, Sheila Ferguson, Mark McGee and Helen Baker.
Holden made her West End debut in the title role of Thoroughly Modern Millie, a Tony Award-winning Broadway hit based on the 1967 film starring Julie Andrews. The nostalgic musical comedy is set in 1920s New York where recent arrival-from-Kansas Millie Dillmount is determined to bob her hair, dance to jazz, get a job and marry her boss - all in the modern fashion.
The London production opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 21 October 2003 (previews from 11 October). It reunited the original Broadway creative team, including director Michael Mayer and designer David Gallow. The musical has new songs by Dick Scanlan (lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music), with a book by Scanlan and Richard Morris. It’s currently booking up to 15 January 2005.
- by Terri Paddock