According to a production spokesperson, Hartnett was taken for examination at University Hospital, Gower Street on Nov. 18 and missed that night's performance, the two performances on Nov. 19 and the one tonight (Nov. 20). He is expected back in the show Nov. 21.
His role of Charlie Babbitt is played in his absence by understudy Richard Lynson. Theatregoers who do not want to see the understudy have been offered the opportunity to have their tickets exchanged for a date later in the run, which continues to Dec. 20.
The stage version of the 1988 Oscar-winning film "Rain Man" began performances at the West End's Apollo Theatre Aug. 28, but its official opening was moved from Sept. 9 to Sept. 19, following the replacement of original director David Grindley during early rehearsals, whose duties were taken over by director/playwright Terry Johnson.
The story has been reimagined by writer Dan Gordon and is reset in the present day. Hartnett plays Charlie Babbitt (originally played on screen by Tom Cruise) with British actor Adam Godley as his autistic savant older brother Raymond (originally played by Dustin Hoffman, who won the Best Actor in a Leading Role Academy Award). The cast also features Mary Stockley, Colin Stinton, Charles Daish and Tilly Blackwood.
The production is described as such: "Raymond, who has been hidden in an institution for most of his adult life and is dysfunctional in many senses, is also touched with a kind of stellar genius, which his brother Charlie, an L.A.-based automobile dealer and hustler, harnesses to save his business. The two brothers embark on a rollercoaster journey together that shows Raymond a world beyond the hospital gates and Charlie the meaning of unconditional love." Hartnett, whose films include "Pearl Harbor," "Black Hawk Down," "30 Days of Night," "Virgin Suicides," "The Black Dahlia" and "Lucky Number Slevin," said in a previous press statement, "It has always been my intent to work on the London stage. While I've had many opportunities it was only when I read the complex and charismatic character of Charlie Babbitt that I knew the time was right. I feel very fortunate to make my London bow with such an esteemed producer and director and I'm also looking forward to working with Adam Godley, who is such an extraordinary talent. Can't wait to live and work in London a city I adore!"
Rain Man is produced by Nica Burns, Jane Walmsley, Michael Braham, Max Weitzenhoffer in association with MGM ON STAGE, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber.
To book tickets contact the box office at 0844 412 4658 or visit www.rainmanonstage.com.