Giles Terera withdraws from National Theater play after emergency operation



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

his play, scheduled to open on October 21, will launch a season of performances in the round in a renovated and socially distanced Olivier theater.

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


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


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

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

Balogun, who appeared in Macbeth’s NT productions and Barber Shop Chronicles, under-researched Delroy’s role throughout rehearsals.

A National Theater statement 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 problem was not related to Covid-19, but having been informed that he will need a six week recovery period, very unfortunately that means he will not be able to play as previously announced in this series of the production, we send him our best wishes for a speedy recovery.


The Olivier theater in the roundabout (National Theater / PA)

The Olivier theater in the roundabout (National Theater / PA)


The Olivier theater in the roundabout (National Theater / PA)

“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 premieres October 21 at the Olivier Theater.

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

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

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

It follows on from Death Of England, their previous production, which starred Rafe Spall and closed at the National weeks before the lockdown.

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

After many theaters across the UK cancel or postpone their pantomimes, a Dick Whittington Christmas production will perform at The Olivier.

The Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd 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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