Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

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

Posted on

Downton Abbey Edith
PBS

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.

Read more:

Stage Review: ‘The Heiress’

‘Downton Abbey’ Merchandise: No corsets or costume jewelry, but you can buy the T-shirt

‘Downton Abbey’ creator wants a Robert/Cora prequel. What should it be about?

Comments