Illness Hits Actor in Donmar's Phaedra

News   Illness Hits Actor in Donmar's Phaedra Following the announcement that the forthcoming revival of Coward’s Hay Fever has been delayed by four days because its star Judi Dench is suffering from flu, the Donmar’s new version of Phaedra will also be delayed because actor Paul Nicholls has had to withdraw on medical advice due to a severe throat infection. Ben Meyjes (Measure for Measure at the National, Jorney's End) will replace Nicholls in the role of Hippoytus.

Phaedra will now open April 21 following previews from April 13. The new version by Frank McGuinness sees director and set designer Tom Cairns make his Donmar debut.

In the title role Clare Higgins returns to the 250 seat venue for the first time since her 2004 Olivier Award-winning performance as Hecuba—also adapted from Euripides by McGuinness.

The cast of Phaedra includes Paul Nicholls (who appeared with Higgins in Vincent in Brixton) as Hippolytus, Michael Feast (Dr Faustus, Oliver Twist) as his father Theseus, and Sean Campion (last seen at the Donmar in The Cosmonaut’s Message) as Theramenes.

Cairns’ directing credits include Aristocrats for the National Theatre, Aunt Dan and Lemon for the Almeida and Cloud Nine at the Old Vic.

Playwright Jean Racine (1639-1699) made an unequalled contribution to the development of French classical tragedy. Andromaque (1667) was the first of his poetic tragedies, and Phèdre(translated as Phaedra) was the last to be publicly performed during his lifetime. His other works include La Thébaïde ou les Frères enemies (1664), Alexandre Le Grand (1665), Britannicus(1669), Bajazet (1672) and Iphigénie (1674). McGuinness’ plays include Baglady, Carthagians, Dolly West’s Kitchen, Flesh and Blood, Mutabilite, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me and The Factory Girls. His adaptations and translations include Barbaric Comedies, Electra, Peer Gynt, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Storm, Three Sisters and Yerma. For more on Phaedra call (0)870 060 6624

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