Taron Egerton withdraws from lead role in West End show due to personal reasons
Taron Egerton has stepped down from his lead role in a West End play due to 'personal reasons'.
The actor, 32, had been among the cast of the revival of the stage play Cock at the Ambassador Theatre in London, which also includes Bridgerton actor Jonathan Bailey.
It’s been announced that Taron, who was playing the character M, has left the show due to "personal reasons", with his understudy taking over full-time for the rest of its run.
It comes after the Rocketman star sparked concern from fans when he fainted during opening night last month and was recently absent from the show after testing positive for Covid-19.
In a statement, it was revealed that understudy Joel Harper-Jackson would be taking over the role, as the actor had already been covering for Taron as he recovered from Covid.
A statement on the Instagram page for Cock the Play read: “JOEL HARPER-JACKSON WILL TAKE OVER THE ROLE OF M IN MIKE BARTLETT’S RAZOR SHARP, HILARIOUS PLAY COCK UNTIL THE END OF THE RUN.
"The part was originally played in this production by Taron Egerton, who has had to withdraw from the production due to personal reasons.
"Joel understudied the role and has been playing the part of M for the past ten days while Taron was absent from the production having tested positive for Covid."
The show’s director Marianne Elliott praised then praised Joel in the post, referring to him as an "absolute hero."
"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," she wrote.
Similarly, his co-star Jonathan Bailey, who is best known as Viscount Anthony Bridgerton in Netflix's Bridgerton, said: "Joel is an immense talent and we couldn't be luckier to have him on board. I am proud to continue sharing the stage with him."
Taron shared an update with fans last month after it was revealed he collapsed on stage during the opening night of the new theatre show.
According to crowd members, one of Taron's co-stars stopped the performance and the safety curtain went down, leaving the audience waiting for 40 minutes for an update on his health.
One audience member wrote on Twitter that a doctor from the crowd rushed to the stage to help him.
Then, after the 40-minute break, when the production team "assessed the situation", the play's director Marianne Elliott came on stage to reassure theatre-goers actor Taron was "absolutely fine".
Following the reports, Kingsman actor Taron shared a statement on his Instagram story to reassure fans, too.
It read: "As some of you may have heard, I passed out during the first performance of COCK last night.
"I've decided to put a positive spin on it and I would appreciate it if anyone who was in the theatre last night just said that I gave such a committed, electrifying performance that my body couldn't handle it and check out.
"That being said, apparently you're meant to actually do the full show and not just three quarters of it. So I'll be back with a vengeance tomorrow night.
"Thank you to the amazing team at the theatre and my wonderful cast mates for being so lovely.
"But mainly I wanted to say thanks to Joel Harper Jackson who stepped in to do the last bit of the play.
"Joel is an amazing actor and a lovely person. Thank you, Joel. T x."
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