Taron Egerton is bowing out of a production in London’s West End earlier than planned.
Egerton had been starring in a revival of Mike Bartlett’s 2009 play “Cock” at London’s Ambassadors Theatre since March, but has announced he’s quitting the production, with the role going to his understudy until the play ends its scheduled run on June 4.
Egerton’s experience with the play has been marked with difficulties since the beginning, with the actor collapsing onstage due to a fainting spell on opening night, and subsequently missing a number of performances when he tested positive for COVID-19.
Egerton’s understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, filled in for the “Rocketman” star both times, and will now be taking on the role for the duration of the play’s run.
“The part was originally played in this production by Taron Egerton, who has had to withdraw from the production due to personal reasons,” the show’s producers said in a statement.
“Joel understudied the role and has been playing the part of M for the past 10 days while Taron was absent from the production having tested positive for COVID,” the statement added.
“Joel is an absolute hero. He is a brilliant and gifted actor and stepped into the role at extremely short notice. Audiences have been standing and cheering and so am I,” said director Marianne Elliott.
“Joel is an immense talent and we couldn’t be luckier to have him on board,” said Jonathan Bailey (“Bridgerton”), who also stars in the play. “I am proud to continue sharing the stage with him.”