The Stratford Shakespeare Festival has announced that Brian Bedford, who received a 2011 Tony nomination for his performance in the recent revival of The Importance of Being Earnest, has been forced to withdraw from the 2011 season for medical reasons.
Bedford was to have played Oronte in The Misanthrope. Peter Hutt will assume that role; he is also playing Muley Graves and the Contractor in The Grapes of Wrath.
“Brian’s condition is treatable, and it is expected that he will make a full recovery,” artistic director Des McAnuff said in a statement. “However, it does require immediate medical attention, which means he will not be able to take part in The Misanthrope.
“I know this is a huge disappointment to Brian, as it is to all of us here, but we look forward to his return to our stages in future seasons. In the meantime, we send him our very best wishes for a speedy recovery.”
“We’re very sorry to hear of this health challenge for Brian, who is not only an immensely gifted colleague but also a dear friend,” added general director Antoni Cimolino. “As much as we will all miss him this season, it is vitally important that he address this issue immediately, so we can go on enjoying his work and his company for many years to come.”
The Misanthrope, directed by David Grindley, begins previews July 31. It opens officially Aug. 12 and runs to Oct. 29, featuring Ben Carlson as Alceste, Juan Chioran as Philinte and Sara Topham as Célimène.
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