Churchill Centre Honorary Member Robert Hardy withdraws from playing Winston Churchill in new West End play.
Hardy, 87, suffered cracked ribs after a fall and “reluctantly” stood down, producers announced. As decribed in the “Around & About” column of Finest Hour #157, “The Audience” features Helen Mirren reprising her Oscar-winning role as The Queen. The play consists of a series of vignettes imagining the Queen’s weekly meetings with her prime ministers starting, of course, with Churchill in 1952. Hardy has previously played Churchill eight times over his career most notably in the 1982 television miniseries The Wilderness Years. “That he [Hardy] feels unable to continue is a great sadness to us all,” said director Stephen Daldry. Hardy had performed a week’s worth of preview performances at London’s Gielgud Theatre despite his injury. “For him to have accepted this challenge at his age speaks of his courage and commitment to the theatre,” said Daldry, who wished the highly respected actor “a return to full health and strength very soon”. He has been replaced with Bafta-winning actor Edward Fox, the brother of one of the show’s producers, Robert Fox. Click here for full story: BBC Report