Robert Hardy withdraws from The Audience through injury
Story by Jack Foley
ROBERT Hardy has pulled out of West End play The Audience due to injury.
The veteran actor was to have played Winston Churchill opposite Dame Helen Mirren’s The Queen in the production, which depicts the weekly meetings between The Queen and some of the 12 Prime Ministers of her reign, including Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
According to the show’s producers, the 87-year-old was left with cracked ribs after suffering a fall and has “reluctantly decided to stand down”.
“That he feels unable to continue is a great sadness to us all,” added Stephen Daldry, the play’s director.
Hardy’s understudy, David Peart, will play Churchill until further notice while producers actively search for a replacement.
But he will be a tough act to follow given that he has previously played Churchill seven times.
Hardy did perform at all of last week’s preview performances at London’s Gielgud Theatre despite his injury but decided that he couldn’t continue any longer.
Director Daldry wished the actor, whose other credits include Harry Potter, “a return to full health and strength very soon”.
The Audience, which has its official opening night on March 5, sees Dame Helen revisit her Oscar-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II.
The play has been written by Peter Morgan.