McDiarmid Illness Cancels Sept. 16 Six Characters Performance; Understudy Crane to Step In

News   McDiarmid Illness Cancels Sept. 16 Six Characters Performance; Understudy Crane to Step In
The Sept. 16 performance of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, which officially opened Sept. 15 at the West End's Gielgud Theare, was canceled.
Ian McDiarmid
Ian McDiarmid

Star Ian McDiarmid was taken ill after the press performance on Monday, and the Sept. 16 performance was canceled while the contracted understudy, Stephen Crane, was rehearsed to take over the role. Performances will resume the evening of Sept. 17 with McDiarmid expected to return to the production Monday, Sept. 22. Rupert Goold's production of Six Characters was originally produced at Chichester's Minerva Theatre in a co-production with Headlong Theatre (of which Goold is artistic director) earlier this summer. Previews began at the Gielgud Sept. 10. The production is initially booking to Nov. 8.

Presented in what the published edition of the text calls a "vertiginous new version" by Goold and Ben Power (Headlong's literary associate), the play has been updated and recontextualized, becoming "a dark parable for a media-obsessed age and an exhilarating exploration of how we define art, ourselves and 'reality' in the 21st-centruy." Goold and Power previously collaborated on Faustus, a reworking of Christopher Marlowe's play. Six Characters originally premiered in Rome in 1921, and is heralded for changing theatre's perception of itself, as it blurs the borders between fiction and life, and between the stage and the world outside.

The full Chichester cast for Six Characters in Search of an Author includes Ian McDiarmid, Jamie Bower, Eleanor David, Noma Dumezweni, Dyfan Dwyfor, Christine Entwistle, Denise Gough, Jake Harders, Jeremy Joyce, John Mackay, Freya Parker and Robin Pearce.

The West End run is presented by Carole Winter and Michael Edwards.

To book tickets phone the box office at 0844 482 5130 or visit

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