Taron Egerton leaves West End Show for ‘personal reasons’ after fainting on stage

Taron Egerton starred alongside Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey in the West End revival of Cock, but show bosses announced on Saturday he has stepped down

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Rocketman: Taron Egerton plays Elton John in 2019

Taron Egerton has stepped down from a starring role in West End play Cock for “personal reasons”.

The 32-year-old actor was part of a cast that included Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey in the revival of the play at London’s Ambassador Theatre.

It was announced on Saturday that Taron, who played the character M, has retired from the show for “personal reasons” and is taking his understudy full-time for the remainder of the show.

It comes after the Rocketman star sparked concern among fans when he fainted during a preview of the show last month and was recently absent from the show after testing positive for Covid-19.

Taron Egerton has retired from the stage play Cock for “personal reasons”.


Dave Benett/Getty Images)

He had starred alongside Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey in the West End Revival


Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Show bosses issued a statement revealing understudy Joel Harper-Jackson would take over the role after the actor had already filled in for the Golden Globe winner while Taron was battling Covid.

They said: “Joel Harper-Jackson will be reprising the role of M in Mike Bartlett’s razor sharp, hilarious play Cock until the end of the series.

“The role in this production was originally played by Taron Egerton, who had to retire from the production for personal reasons.”

Taron (center right) had appeared in the play alongside Jade Anouka (far left), Jonathan (center left) and Phil Daniels (far right).


Dave Benett/Getty Images)

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The statement said Taron’s understudy has been playing the role for the “last ten days” as the actor recovered from the coronavirus at home.

Revival director Marianne Elliott, 55, praised Joel in the latest post, calling him an “absolute hero”. He was further described as a “brilliant and gifted actor”.

“Joel is an absolute hero. He is a brilliant and gifted actor and took on the role at extremely short notice. The audience stood and cheered, and so did I,” she wrote.

Similarly, his co-star Jonathan Bailey, 33 – who is best known as Viscount Anthony Bridgerton on Netflix Bridgerton – who plays lead actor John in the play, praised Joel for his skill.

Jonathan (front) has praised co-star Joel Harper-Jackson following the departure of Taron (background).


Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The actor commented in the post, “Joel is an immense talent and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board. I’m proud to continue to share the stage with him.”

The play opened last month after Taron collapsed on stage during one of the first performances. He was replaced for the remainder of the performance by his then understudy, Joel.

Written by Mike Bartlett in 2009, the play centers on John, a gay man who feels torn apart after meeting and falling in love with a woman.

A doctor is understood to have been in the audience and came to the rescue of the Kingsman actor after he fainted – with Taron later addressing the incident on social media.

He said: “I passed out last night during the first performance of COCK. I’m perfectly fine. Slightly sore neck and bruised ego but I’m fine.”

The actor took the opportunity to thank Joel – who he described as “a great actor and a lovely person” – and confirmed he’d be back for the next show.

He also said, “Thanks to the amazing team at the theater and my wonderful castmates for being so nice.”

Taron later returned to the show – before being absent lately due to Covid – ahead of the news that he has completely retired from production.

The Mirror reached out to Taron Egerton’s rep for comment.

Cock runs at the Ambassadors Theater until June 4th.

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