Alison Steadman has withdrawn from her role in the Hampstead Theatre’s forthcoming production of Rabbit Hole, with Penny Downie stepping in to replace her in the cast.
Steadman leaves the company of the Edward Hall-directed drama prior to rehearsals beginning, citing personal reasons as the cause of her departure.
Downton Abbey star Downie, whose many theatre credits include Butley in the West End, Helen at Shakespeare’s Globe and numerous appearances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, will now play the role of Nat. The actor joins a previously announced cast including Claire Skinner, Tom Goodman-Hill, Georgina Rich and Sean Delaney.
David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play tells the story of Becca and Howie, a happy suburban couple who have everything they could possibly want until a sudden and shocking event turns their lives upside down. Charting their journey through grief, the critically acclaimed drama follows the pair as they strive to find a way back to each other following the harrowing event.
Speaking about the last minute cast change, Hall commented: “We are delighted to welcome Penny Downie to Hampstead Theatre for the UK premiere of Rabbit Hole. The company is looking forward to working with her and we hope to welcome Alison back to the venue in the future.”
Rabbit Hole will play at the Hampstead Theatre from 29 January and follows the venue’s current hit Hapgood, which will conclude its extended run on 23 January.