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Matt Lucas Misses Ears Dates After Ex’s Suicide

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A week after opening in the West End, Little Britain star Matt Lucas has pulled out of Prick Up Your Ears “until further notice” after his former civil partner, Kevin McGee, apparently committed suicide (See 1st Night Photos, 1 Oct 2009).

According to press reports, McGee was found hanged in his Edinburgh flat on Monday evening, three hours after he posted a message on his Facebook page saying "Kevin McGee thinks that death is much better than life".

Lucas and McGee’s high-profile civil partnership ceremony in 2006, set to a pantomime fancy dress theme, was attended by celebrity guests including Elton John, Charlotte Church and Lucas’ Little Britain partner David Walliams. However, the partnership was dissolved a year and a half later. Though the couple have not spoken publicly about it, media speculation has attributed it to Lucas filming commitments which required him to spend much time away from home.

In Prick Up Your Ears - which, following a regional tour, opened at the Comedy Theatre last Wednesday 30 Septembers 2009 (previews from 17 September) – Lucas plays Kenneth Halliwell, who bludgeoned his lover, the playwright Joe Orton, to death before killing himself in 1967.

Producers have issued a statement today saying: "Our thoughts are with Matt whom we are in constant touch with. Until further notice his role of Kenneth Halliwell in the West End production of Prick Up Your Ears will be played by his understudy Michael Chadwick.”

Simon Bent’s new play, currently booking until 6 December 2009, is inspired by Orton's diaries and the John Lahr biography of the same name (also the inspiration for Stephen Frears' 1987 film, scripted by Alan Bennett). It’s directed by Daniel Kramer and co-stars stars Chris New as Orton and Gwen Taylor as the couple’s neighbour Mrs Corden.


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