Actor Brian Blessed Faints During UK Production of KING LEAR; Returns to Steal the Show
According to an article in the Daily Mail, actor Brian Blessed collapsed onstage during a performance of Shakespeare's KING LEAR, only to return 20 minutes later to finish the show in the title role.
After Blessed walked back onstage, he said, "I feel such an idiot and am not in the habit of doing this, but I have a little fibrillation."
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Blessed, 78, fainted as he was delivering his lines at the beginning of the play.
His collapse prompted actor Noel White, who was playing the "Earl of Kent', to address the audience, saying: "Ladies and gentleman this is not part of the play. Is there a doctor in the house?"
A local surgeon examined Blessed while he lay onstage surrounded by his fellow cast members, including his daughter Rosalind, who was playing 'Goneril'.
Despite a shaky start, Blessed went on to deliver what the Mail dubbed "one of the more remarkable and moving renditions of Lear of all time."
Guildford Shakespeare Company's KING LEAR runs now through 14 February 2015.