AceShowbiz - COVID has shut down Kenneth Branagh's theater production of "The Browning Version", which was set to open in London on August 5.
The month-long play, staged by officials at The Kenneth Branagh Theater Company, has been canceled because of "an increasing number of COVID-enforced absences."
A statement issued by company representatives noted that several people in the cast had been "robbed of more than two-thirds of the limited rehearsal time." Even more dire, some of the cast are "actually unwell."
"We're gutted at the news that the Bowning Version has had to cancel their planned August season. We wish the affected cast members well, and a speedy recovery," social media managers for Riverside Studios, the London arts center where the play was to be staged, tweeted on Sunday, July 18.
"If you bought tickets to the show you don't need to do anything - all purchases will be refunded over the coming week."
Branagh was set to direct the play, written by Terrence Rattigan in 1948, and star as Andrew Crocker-Harris. The rest of the cast was made up of Royal Academy of Dramatic Art graduates Kemi Awoderu, Joseph Kloska, Lolita Chakrabarti, Wendy Kweh, Victor Alli and Sarah Eve.
The production was to have been a fundraiser for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and members of the public have been urged to still contribute to the renowned London acting school.
Riverside Studios announced on its official Twitter account, "More on the cancellation of The Browning Version: if you are able, we know that RADA (for whom this production was a fundraiser) would still appreciate your support - you can learn how to make a donation to them at https://rada.ac.uk/support-us/ @RADA_London."