Theatre News

Audience member steps in to save opening night of Macbeth at Wilton's Music Hall

The curse of the Scottish Play didn’t derail this production of Shakespeare’s tragedy

The Watermill's Macbeth
The Watermill's Macbeth
© Pamela Raith

Disaster struck five minutes into the opening night of the Watermill Ensemble's London run of Macbeth last night, when actor Lauryn Redding sustained a leg injury at Wilton's Music Hall.

Redding, who plays Lady Macduff (as well as Bottom in the company's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which also runs at the venue), had to be taken off stage and the show had to be halted.

But the performance went on, thanks to Emma Barclay, who had previously played the role three months ago when the show had been on in Newbury. Barclay, who had been sat in the audience for opening night, was called on by the production and with mere minutes to prepare stepped into Redding's shoes and allowed the press performance to continue.

Paul Hart, the artistic director of the Watermill Theatre and director of Macbeth said: "It was a stroke of luck that last night Emma Barclay who played Lady Macduff and Bottom during the Autumn tour of our productions of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream was in the audience and courageously stepped into the roles played by Lauryn Redding.

"I'm immensely proud of the Watermill Ensemble for their performance last night and their incredible commitment and support of one another in extraordinary circumstances which enabled the show to continue. We all wish Lauryn a speedy recovery."

Barclay was only present in the audience because she had a night off from One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, which has just finished its run at the Jermyn Street Theatre and is about to transfer to the Watermill Theatre. She'll continue in Macbeth for a few more performances while Redding recovers.