Due to an increasing number of Covid-enforced absences, the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company/Fiery Angel new production of Terence Rattigan’s play The Browning Version, due to play at London’s Riverside Studios from 5-29 August 2021, has had to be cancelled.
Branagh was due to direct and play Andrew Crocker-Harris alongside fellow RADA graduates Kemi Awoderu (Taplow), Joseph Kloska (Frank Hunter), Lolita Chakrabarti (Millie Crocker-Harris), Wendy Kweh (Dr Frobisher), Victor Alli (Peter Gilbert) and Sarah Eve (Mrs Gilbert).
All profits from the production were to be donated to RADA. Covid has had a devastating impact on RADA’s ability to deliver world-class training and on its finances. It urgently needs to raise £3.2 million to recover and rebuild, and to support its students. The Browning Version was going to mark the launch of Stage Critical, RADA’s fundraising campaign.
A statement from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company reads: “Despite all company members observing strict Covid protocols, multiple company members have been robbed of more than two thirds of the limited rehearsal time. Some isolating, some actually unwell.
“The first run through was conducted with only four of the seven cast members able or allowed to perform. With a short run impossible to extend due to limited cast availability, delay is impractical. Therefore the very difficult decision to cancel has been made.
“We have been so grateful for the public support for this production, and we are very sorry to have to make this decision. If you booked directly with Riverside Studios you will be automatically refunded. The box office team will begin processing refunds first thing in the morning. If you booked via a ticket agent or third party they will contact you to arrange a refund.
“RADA, for whom the production was dedicated to raising funds, will receive instead a donation from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company.
“We are deeply disappointed by this outcome, and hope very much to return to the magnificent Riverside Studios, and its loyal audiences, when circumstances allow.”