A stage production directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh has been cancelled due to "Covid-enforced absences" during rehearsals.
The revival of Terence Rattigan's play The Browning Version was due to open at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London in early August, but on Sunday, it was announced that the month-long run had been cancelled as Covid-19-related absences have meant that all the cast members haven't been able to rehearse together.
"Despite all company members observing strict Covid protocols, multiple company members have been robbed of more than two-thirds of the limited rehearsal time," a statement for the show read. "Some isolating, some actually unwell. The first run-through was conducted with only four of the seven cast members able or allowed to perform. With a short run impossible to extend due to limited cast availability, delay is impractical. Therefore, the very difficult decision to cancel has been made."
Ticketholders received an email from Riverside Studios in which it stated that "the production is no longer viable or able to be staged successfully" and refunds would be processed this week.
The revival was designed as a fundraiser for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), the acting school where Branagh trained. As a result of the cancellation, The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company will be making a donation to the institution instead.