An actor appearing in 42nd Street saved a performance of Mamma Mia! just down the road, after she made a quick dash to cover the leading role in the ABBA musical.
Steph Parry, an understudy for 42nd Street, was in her dressing room at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on June 7 when she heard that the actor playing Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia!, Caroline Deverill, could not continue with the production, after suffering a calf injury.
Parry, who knew the role of Donna, subsequently left 42nd Street to join the cast of Mamma Mia! and finish the show.
She had been cover for the part of Donna at the Novello Theatre five years ago. and had also reprised the role on a cruise ship last year.
Within 18 minutes of Deverill heading off to hospital, Parry had run over the road and taken to the stage of Mamma Mia!.
She told The Stage: “It was my first day back at 42nd Street last night after a holiday, and was back to being a standby waiting in the dressing room tucking into some carrots and hummus. My company manager then gave me a call, so I thought I was going to have to go on at the Theatre Royal. But he tells me he’s got David Lamb – Mamma Mia!’s company manager – on the phone seeing if I am in the building because they had an emergency. I simply got told “They need you there, can you run over to Mamma Mia!, and go now.”
She added: “It was a packed house and they were marvellous. I honestly wish I could have taped the reaction and had it on demand for whenever I’m feeling down. I think it’s a really good moment to celebrate the camaraderie of the West End, that 42nd Street were wanting me to go and help out another show and that we could pull all that together for the audience.”