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6 items from 2009

Hart Shrugs Off 'Silly' Audience Outburst Claims

25 November 2009 2:01 PM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Harry Potter actor Ian Hart has dismissed reports he behaved aggressively towards a theatregoer who was disrupting his performance in a West End play, insisting the saga is "a lot of silliness".

Hart, best known for playing villainous Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was alleged to have jumped from the stage and threatened Gerard Earley, who was in the audience of his show Speaking in Tongues on Monday.

Earley claimed he was giving the cast a standing ovation when Hart took offence and lunged at him.

He told reporters he was considering police action against Hart, who had to be restrained by an usher.

But the actor has shrugged off the allegations, stating, "I'm absolutely not interested, it's just a lot of silliness." »

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Weisz Picks Up Richardson Theatre Award

24 November 2009 12:16 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Rachel Weisz has become the first actress to win an acting award named after the late Natasha Richardson at a prizegiving recognising the best in London theatre.

The Mummy star received the Natasha Richardson Best Actress trophy for her part in West End play A Streetcar Named Desire at a ceremony hosted by the London Evening Standard newspaper on Monday.

The coveted prize has been renamed to honour Liam Neeson's wife, who died following a tragic skiing accident in Montreal, Canada in March.

Richardson's mother, veteran performer Vanessa Redgrave, was on hand to present the trophy to Weisz.

Accepting the award, Weisz said, "It is even more of an honour because this is the first year that the award has been named after the great and much, much-loved Natasha Richardson."

Sir Ian McKellen was also given a special award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British theatre throughout his 50-year career. »

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Lucas' London Play Shuts Early

4 November 2009 4:06 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Producers of West End play Prick Up Your Ears have brought the curtain down three weeks early after Matt Lucas quit to mourn the death of his ex-husband.

The Little Britain funnyman was devastated by the shock suicide of his former partner Kevin McGee, who was found hanged at his apartment in Edinburgh, Scotland last month.

Devastated Lucas pulled out of his lead role as he continued to grieve, and producers replaced him with actor Con O'Neill - but the show is to end three weeks early after a slump in ticket sales.

The producers said in a statement, "Despite very good feedback and notices for Con O'Neill's performance, the box office sales have not been sufficient to keep the show going."

The last show will be performed on 15 November. »

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Man Collapses Over Naked Friel

28 October 2009 3:06 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Anna Friel's nude role in a West End play is having a huge effect on audiences - one onlooker collapsed when the actress peeled off her clothes.

The British beauty strips off onstage during her protrayal of Holly Golightly in the new version of classic Audrey Hepburn movie Breakfast At Tiffany's - and the sight of the star in all her naked glory was simply too much for one audience member.

He keeled over in the aisle and had to be wheeled out of the auditorium by medics.

Friel explains, "During that naked scene, about four days ago, we had a man who collapsed in the audience - but it was during the naked scene and I didn't know if I had done something very wrong or it just happened that he collapsed at that point.

"I remember him being carried out on a stretcher, which was a bit distracting." »

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Vickers hails 'awesome' West End show

21 October 2009 3:17 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Diana Vickers has revealed that she cried like a baby after the official opening of West End play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. The former X Factor contestant plays the lead role in the new production of Jim Cartwright's play at the Vaudeville Theatre. Writing on her Twitter page, Vickers said: "Wow guys! Tonight was awesome for Little Voice! "Tried (more) »

- By Mayer Nissim

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Gemma Arterton takes to the stage

26 September 2009 2:00 AM, PDT | Monsters and Critics | See recent Monsters and Critics news »

Gemma Arterton is to star in a new West End play. The 'Quantum of Solace' actress has signed on to appear in 'The Little Dog Laughed', a savage comedy due to premiere in London early next year. The 'Young Victoria' star Rupert Friend, The 'Diary of Anne Frank' actress Tamsin Greig and 'Robin Hood' actor Harry Lloyd will also star in the play, which tells the story of a movie star's quest to find a wife and a boyfriend. Gemma will play Ari, a fiery young woman who lives with one of the main character's male love interests, played by Lloyd. It will be the 23-year-old actress's first West End play but not her stage debut. She played Rosaline in »

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