Days before Hampstead theatre’s Christmas ghost story Darker Shores begins previewing, actor Mark Gatiss has left the production due to the serious illness of a close family member.
The former League Of Gentlemen star will be replaced in the role of Professor Gabriel Stokes by Tom Goodman-Hill.
Speaking about the cast change, Anthony Clark, the Darker Shores director and Artistic Director of Hampstead theatre, said: “Our thoughts are with Mark, who is currently with his family. We are very sad that his hard work and talent will not be seen on stage in this production. However, we are very fortunate to have Tom Goodman-Hill joining the cast at the eleventh hour. He joins us during technical rehearsals and we are confident that he will bring an equally special quality to the role.”
Goodman-Hill joins Julian Rhind-Tutt, Pamela Miles and Vinette Robinson in Michael Punter’s play, which sees Professor Stokes take lodgings at a house on the East Sussex coast. But no sooner has the Professor arrived than mysterious happenings start to hint at the house’s troubled history.
Goodman-Hill recently played Andy Fastow in the universally acclaimed Enron, which transfers to the Noël Coward theatre in January. His previous West End work includes originating the role of Lancelot in the London production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, while on television he has appeared in The Office, Doctor Who, The Devil’s Whore and Hustle.
As a result of the cast change, Darker Shores’s first preview on 3 December has been cancelled. All other performances will go ahead as planned.