The Young Vic has cancelled this weekend’s first two previews of Vernon God Little, based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by DBC Pierre, after its actress Sian Reeves (from TV’s Cutting It) was injured this week (See News, 20 Mar 2007). The world premiere play, adapted by Tanya Ronder and directed by Rufus Norris, was originally due to start performances this Friday (27 April 2007). It will now commence on Monday 30 April 2007, with a press performance (already shifted by a week some time ago for programming reasons) still going ahead – with or without Reeves – on 8 May 2007.

A spokesperson told today that Reeves fell on stage during technical rehearsals on Monday afternoon. The actress is hoping to return to the production but is still awaiting doctors’ advice. Young Vic artistic director David Lan said in a statement: “Sian is a strong and valued member of the cast, and we hope she makes a full and speedy recovery.”

Vernon God Little follows the misadventures of fast-talking American teen Vernon, starting with him sitting in the sheriff’s office in his underpants after his best friend Jesus killed all their classmates before committing suicide. As with the majority of the nine-strong company, Reeves played several parts, most importantly Vaine, the sheriff determined to bring Vernon to justice.

The previews have been cancelled to allow Reeves’ replacement Penny Layden, who was drafted in on Tuesday, enough time to rehearse. Layden’s recent stage credits include Comfort Me with Apples at Hampstead Theatre, Assassins at Sheffield Crucible and Shared Experience’s A Passage to India, Jane Eyre and The Magic Toyshop.

Newcomer Colin Morgan was chosen from his course at Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to take the title role. The cast also features Critics’ Circle Best Newcomer Mariah Gale (most recently seen in the West End with Patrick Stewart in The Tempest for the RSC), Lorraine Bruce, Andrew Clark, Mark Lockyer, Nathan Osgood, Joanna Scanlan and Ray Shell.

Vernon God Little continues at the Young Vic until 9 June 2007. Theatregoers who booked tickets for this weekend’s performances are being offered exchanges or refunds by the theatre box office.

- by Terri Paddock

** DON’T MISS our Outing to VERNON GOD LITTLE on 9 May 2007 - including our EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A with Rufus Norris & the cast - all for just £20!! – click here for more details! **