McShane Sidelined from Witches through IllnessDate: 24 April 2001
Ian McShane, who has been out of The Witches of Eastwick for four weeks, looks set to be away from the show indefinitely. A bout of shingles has accounted for the star's recent absence from the production, which is currently playing in the West End at the Prince of Wales.
No-one from McShane's agency or press representatives was able to offer any insight beyond the fact that the actor 'is taking time off after being unwell.' Speculation that McShane might not return to the show was not commented upon. McShane's understudy, Earl Carpenter, is currently playing the part of Darryl Van Horne.
The show opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in July 2000, before transferring to its current home earlier this year. Based on John Updike's novel, which was also a hit film, the musical follows the mysterious Van Horne and a trio of very modern New England witches. The book and lyrics are by John Dempsey, set to Dana P Rowe's score. Direction and choreography are from Eric Schaeffer and Bob Avian respectively, both of whom were involved in the Broadway production of the Sondheim revue Putting It Together.
McShane has also appeared in over 60 films since his acting career began in 1962. His credits include last year's Sexy Beast, with Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley. He also gained wide popularity through his role as an antiques dealer in the hit television series Lovejoy.
- by Gareth Thompson