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Liverpool Everyman’s artistic director makes unplanned stage debut after actor falls ill

Everyman artistic director Gemma Bodinetz backstage during Paint Your Wagon with George Francis Everyman artistic director Gemma Bodinetz backstage during Paint Your Wagon with musical director George Francis
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Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse artistic director Gemma Bodinetz made an unplanned stage appearance after stepping in at the last minute for an actor who fell sick at the venue.

Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon is currently running at the Everyman, performed by the venue’s rep company.

However, one of the actors fell ill on May 18. After Bodinetz was told at 11am, she appeared on stage at 2pm the same day and also at the evening performance. It marked her stage debut, playing Jake Whippany in the production.

“I was notified that we had a sick actor for a full-company show at 11am on Saturday morning. I was on stage at 2pm in costume performing in the matinee and then again that evening.

“I think ‘rabbit in the headlights’ best describes my experience. But I am so grateful to the actors and technical team who helped me through it and to the audience that got right behind the ‘show must go on’ spirit of the endeavour,” she said.

In 2016, an audience member stood in for a sick cast member at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

Exclusive: Audience member covers for performer after last-minute illness in Into the Woods


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