Kristen Johnston, who returned to the company of Love Song on 18 December 2006 having been absent for a just over a week due to an erupted duodenal ulcer (See News, 12 Dec 2006), has missed more performances over Christmas due to ill health. She was readmitted to hospital on 27 December 2006, but is expected to be back in the production on Saturday (6 January 2007).

Johnston, who made “an exceptionally swift recovery” following surgery last month, is on the mend after falling ill again, according to a spokesperson for the show, who said “she is a very determined woman and she is definitely hoping to be back by Saturday.”

Johnston, who plays Joan in the UK premiere of John Kolvenbach’s comedy drama Love Song at the West End’s New Ambassador’s Theatre, was replaced by Molly Regan (who played the same role in the play’s world premiere at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre) between 11 and 16 December 2006. Johnston returned to the company on 18 December 2006, but following further complications, has been absent since 27 December 2006.

In the meantime, Johnston’s understudy, Romy Tennant, has been playing the role of Joan in John Crowley’s production, alongside Cillian Murphy as her oddball brother Beane, who finds the woman of his dreams after his apartment is burgled by Molly (Neve Campbell).

Love Song opened at the New Ambassadors Theatre on 4 December (See News, 13 Oct 2006). It is produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Robert G Bartner and Boyett Ostar Productions.

- by Caroline Ansdell