Actor Simon Ward who was confirmed last month for the role of Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion at the Garrick Theatre has confirmed he will no longer take on the role due to virus.
He told the Daily Telegraph that it was with "enormous regret" as he was looking forward to playing a Cockney - he is the son of a car dealer from Beckenham and welcomed the change from playing aristocratic characters for which he is best known.
Simon Ward was set to join the play from the official opening on 25th May alongside stars Rupert Everett, Kara Tointon and Dame Diana Rigg - a fellow Rada student where they trained together.
He has been replaced by understudy Brendan Hooper in the play, which started previews on 12 May ahead of opening night on 25 May 2011.
The show's producers are expected to announce details of his permanent replacement later this morning - with rumours that another "big name" actor is under consideration but Brendan Hooper, who was Ward's understudy, has also impressed both Prowse and Weldon with his own interpretation of the part in previews. Producers are said to be "adamant" that the show will still open next Wednesday as planned.
The West End transfer of the Chichester Festival Theatre production is presented by Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer for Nimax Theatres, Duncan C Weldon & Paul Elliot in association Carole Winter and Michael Edwards for MJE Productions and the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company.
Book Pygmalion tickets online now.
[posted by Louise, 17/05/2011]