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Barking in Essex - Keeley Hawes withdraws

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

KEELEY Hawes has withdrawn from Clive Exton’s new play Barking in Essex, which continues at Wyndham’s Theatre until January 4, 2014.

In a statement, the actress said:

‘It is with much regret that I must announce to all ticket holders that I will no longer be performing as Chrissie Packer in Barking In Essex for the remainder of the show. I have been utterly committed to the show to date and I would like to offer my most sincere apologies to those who have purchased a ticket to see me and I hope this does not cause significant inconvenience for anyone affected.’

Previously Posted: Keeley Hawes will star alongside Lee Evans and Sheila Hancock in Barking in Essex, which runs at Wyndham’s Theatre from September 16, 2013 (previews from September 6) to January 4, 2014.

Hawes, who made her professional stage debut two years ago in the National Theatre’s revival of Clifford Odet’s Rocket To The Moon, is best known for her many TV credits including Spooks, Mutual Friends, Ashes To Ashes, Identity, Upstairs Downstairs and The Lady Vanishes.

Also joining the cast of Barking in Essex will be Karl Johnson and Montserrat Lombard.

Previously Posted: Lee Evans will star alongside Sheila Hancock in Barking in Essex, a new play by Clive Exton, which runs at Wyndham’s Theatre from September 16, 2013 (previews from September 6) to January 4, 2014.

Freedom finally beckons for Algie Packer, Essex’s most notorious gangster. He’s done seven years inside and now he’s coming home to collect his booty – £3,672,000 in untraceable notes. But there’s something Algie’s family have forgotten to mention…

Evans plays hapless, dim witted Darnley, the village idiot of the criminal underworld, and Sheila Hancock is Emmie, his mother – the family’s Rottweiler with a hairdo. Witness the Packers as they desperately try to cover their tracks before Algie arrives to collect what is rightfully his.

Perrier Award-winning comedian Lee Evans last appeared on stage in 2007 in Harold Pinter’s classic comedy of menace, The Dumb Waiter. His other theatre credits include Leo Bloom in The Producers (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and Samuel Beckett’s Endgame opposite Michael Gambon (Albery Theatre).

He has also appeared in the films Funny Bones, There’s Something About Mary, The Fifth Element, The Ladies Man, The Martins and The Medallion.

Sheila Hancock’s recent theatre credits include The Last of the Duchess, Sister Act, The Anniversary, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, Vassa, Cabaret, for which she won the 2007 Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, and the 50th anniversary revival of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party at the Lyric Hammersmith. In 2011, she was awarded a CBE.

As well as Barking in Essex, which is billed as a diabolically funny new play, Clive Exton is the acclaimed writer of 10 Rillington Place and Jeeves and Wooster.

Harry Burton (The Dumb Waiter, The Leisure Society) will direct.

Dreamboats and Petticoats continues at Wyndham’s Theatre until January 19, 2013. It will be followed by Quartermaine’s Terms (January 23 to April 13, 2013), Doktor Glas (April 16 to May 11, 2013) and Relatively Speaking (May 14 to August 31, 2013).