Director steps in for actor

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John F
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Director steps in for actor

Post by John F » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:53 am

National Theatre boss Rufus Norris 'showed great leadership' by stepping into Home, I'm Darling at last minute
Owen Sheppard
The boss of the National Theatre turned understudy when the lead actor in one of his productions was taken ill. Rufus Norris, 53, was told only 30 minutes before Friday’s sell-out performance of "Home, I’m Darling" that Richard Harrington would not be able to go on stage.

The artistic director admitted that he had only a “vague” understanding of the play by Laura Wade, having seen it twice, but with no understudy he had few options. The 400-strong crowd opted for Norris to step in. “It’s a last-resort situation,” the theatre boss told the Evening Standard. “But it was only a few days before the show finishes and we couldn’t add an extra date. We had a full house who wouldn’t be able to see it again.”

He stepped in to play Johnny, husband of Judy, played by Katherine Parkinson. Judy is a former finance worker who takes voluntary redundancy to become a full-time Fifties-style housewife in 2018.

Norris — a trained actor who graduated from Rada in 1989 —said the 30 minutes before the performance were spent frantically preparing with Parkinson, 40, best known for the IT Crowd. Asked if he was nervous, Norris said: “I had to give a decent reading of the script. You make sure you’re heard and that you’re going at the right pace. When those things happen and you only have one option, you think, ‘Right let’s get our heads down and do it’.”

Despite having “really good fun”, Norris said he had no interest in returning to the stage. “I just try to keep out of the way and let the people who can really do it do it,” he said. His “tremendous” cameo was given a standing ovation. “What great leadership he showed,” playwright Sarah Kosar said. Another tweeted: “It felt special to be there.”

Harrington, 43, was back on stage on Saturday night. ... 26196.html
John Francis

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