McCrory Doesn’t Like Heat - Some Matinees AxedDate: 23 June 2005
UPDATE, 6.05pm: McCrory has now been diagnosed with gastro-enteritis but, pending doctors' advice, is still hoping to perform this evening...
Tennis players at Wimbledon apparently haven’t been the only ones affected by this week’s hot weather, in the predominantly non-airconditioned theatres of the West End, performers also seem to be wilting in the heat. At this afternoon’s matinee of As You Like It, star Helen McCrory, who plays Rosalind, felt so unwell during the two-hour-and-fifty-minute performance that she had to abandon the stage late in the second act.
A theatregoer in attendance told Whatsonstage.com that McCrory (pictured with co-star Sienna Miller), who had been visibly unwell throughout the performance, started crying and then turned to the audience to apologise, saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry I can’t continue with today’s performance.” She commented on how hot it was on stage and added, “I’m really feeling very unwell today” before fleeing to a round of applause.
However, some members in the audience were less sympathetic afterwards during what the theatregoer described as “aggravated” scenes with front of house staff who were uncertain what would happen next. A representative from the producer’s office told theatregoers they would be offered exchanges to see the rest of the play on another day. Refund requests were being handled on an individual basis.
A show spokesperson explained that the understudy was not able to step in during the matinee crisis because she was already performing (her usual role as Phoebe) and the company did not have sufficient time to regroup. After leaving the stage, McCrory was sick and is now being examined by doctors who will determine when she might be able to return to the show.
Meanwhile, at the West End’s Gielgud Theatre, the Neil LaBute play Some Girls, featuring David Schwimmer, has cancelled all of its midweek matinees. According to show producers, the move is to safeguard the health of the Friends star, who suffers from hay fever.
In a statement, producer Nica Burns said the decision was made after a long meeting with Schwimmer, taking into consideration advice from a throat specialist. “David is suffering from very bad hay fever, for which he has to take antihistamine. Unfortunately, this dries out the throat and he talks non-stop for an hour-and-a-half on stage.
“Sunday gives him the chance to rest his voice completely from the two shows on Saturday. We simply do not want to take the risk of wrecking his voice by allowing him to do two shows on Thursday with insufficient vocal rest before he does three more shows. David regretfully accepts our decision, but we feel we will risk less disappointment to the public.”
- by Terri Paddock