It was with the Denver Center Theatre Company and probably a few days after we actually had our understudy rehearsal which is taken about as seriously as a… as a… not usually very seriously. I was playing Guildenstern at the time. No Rosencrantz. No. Anyway.
From Theater Critic John Moore’s article in the Denver Post Sunday, October 25 2009:
As much as audiences grumble about understudies, they make for some of any company’s most legendary tales. Like when Scott Ferraro came down with food poisoning at 4 p.m. the day of a 2002 preview performance of “Hamlet.” Jason Henning, a third- year conservatory student, was called on to perform the title role having had not one second of rehearsal. Then-artistic director Donovan Marley called it “a world-class performance.” Said Henning afterward: “I was very glad to die.”
You know, because Hamlet dies in the end and so I was very glad that… Anyway, after “And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!” etc. and the house went black I immediately stood up and promply walked my shins square into the king’s throne. Nice.
Anyway, I made the fridge again with this clipping.
There are loads of good little stories within this one. I’ll tell you the full story over a pint.