Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Brit director 'disoriented,' not heckling at theatre

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LONDON -- British theatre director Peter Hall has apologized for disrupting a star of Downton Abbey during the opening night of a West End stage show.

Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley in the hit costume drama, was performing the final speech of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya when Hall began speaking loudly from the auditorium.

Audience members heard the 81-year-old director repeatedly saying "it's not working" while Carmichael spoke.

On Monday, Hall insisted he had not been heckling, but was merely "briefly disorientated" after waking from a brief doze.

Hall, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said he was "mortified that I unintentionally disrupted" Friday's performance.

He said his remarks "were not in any way related to Uncle Vanya, which I think is a very fine production with a marvellous company of actors."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 6, 2012 C2

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