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'Downton' star's play disrupted by Sir Peter Hall

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Downton Abbey Edith

Lady Edith really can’t catch a break. First Mary ruins her engagement to Sir Anthony — and now this?

The BBC is reporting that British theater vet Sir Peter Hall — founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company — has apologized to Downton Abbey star Laura Carmichael after disrupting the opening night of her new play, a production of Uncle Vanya in London’s West End.

Playgoers this weekend said that the 81-year-old Hall heckled the production’s actors, reportedly shouting, “Stop, stop, stop! It doesn’t work and you don’t work. It is not good enough. I could be at home watching television.” The disruption came as Carmichael was delivering her final lines as Sonya, a plain girl of marriageable age. (Sound familiar?)

Hall, to his credit, swiftly issued a long and sincere apology for his behavior:

“I am mortified that I unintentionally disrupted the final scene of Uncle Vanya and I have sent a personal note to Laura Carmichael offering my apologies. I enjoyed the evening, and her performance, immensely, and I cannot stress too strongly that my remarks were in no way directed at her or the production. Being rather aged I dropped off for a moment and on being woken by my wife I was briefly disorientated. Remarks made in the resulting confusion were not in any way related to Uncle Vanya, which I think is a very fine production with a marvelous company of actors.”

For the record, Carmichael has also earned praise for her West End debut; one critic called her take on Sonya “delicately impressive.” So take heart, Lady Edith — they like you, they really like you! And seriously, don’t sweat Mary. She’s kind of a jerk to everyone.

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