Giles Terera pulls out of National Theater play after emergency surgery

Actor Giles Terera has pulled out of the National Theater production of Death of England: Delroy after undergoing emergency surgery.

he play, which is due to open on October 21, will kick off a season of in-the-round performances at a remodeled, socially distanced Olivier Theatre.

Michael Balogun, Terera’s stunt double, will instead play Delroy in the one-man play about a working-class black man searching for the truth and grappling with his relationship with Britain.


Giles Terera was set to star in Death Of England: Delroy (National Theatre/PA)

Giles Terera was set to star in Death Of England: Delroy (National Theatre/PA)

Terera is recovering well after the operation and the issue was unrelated to Covid-19, but he will need to rest for six weeks, according to the theater.

Balogun, who appeared in the NT productions of Macbeth and Barber Shop Chronicles, studied Delroy’s role throughout rehearsals.

A statement from the National Theater said: “We are sorry to announce that Giles Terera will no longer appear in the production of Death of England: Delroy following emergency surgery.

“Giles is recovering well, and the issue was not Covid-19 related, but having been advised that he will need a six week recovery period, very unfortunately this means he will not be able to perform. as previously announced in this production series. We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.


The Olivier theater in the round (Théâtre National/AP)

The Olivier theater in the round (Théâtre National/AP)

The Olivier theater in the round (Théâtre National/AP)

“We are pleased to announce that Michael Balogun will now play the role of Delroy in the new play by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams which opens October 21 at the Olivier Theatre.

“Michael doubled as Delroy and worked with the crew throughout rehearsals. Michael’s previous work for the National Theater includes Macbeth and UK tours for Barber Shop Chronicles and People, Places & Things.

L’Olivier, the largest of the National’s three permanent theaters, usually seats 1,150 people in its fan-shaped auditorium, but will now accommodate nearly 500 with social distancing.

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Writers Dyer and Williams wrote the play, directed by Dyer, over five months.

It follows Death Of England, their previous production, which starred Rafe Spall and ended at the National a few weeks before lockdown.

The new story focuses on the character of Delroy, the best friend of the first play’s protagonist.

After many theaters across the UK canceled or postponed their pantomimes, a Dick Whittington Christmas production will play at the Olivier.

Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd’s version of the story, directed by Ned Bennett, was first staged at Lyric Hammersmith in 2018 and has been updated for 2020.

It will open in December.

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