According to a spokesman, Matthew Horne has been released from hospital after collapsing onstage during yesterday afternoon’s performance of Entertaining Mr Sloane. Horne lay unconscious onstage for ten minutes before paramedics arrived; he and Imelda Staunton (who also complained of feeling unwell) have both been replaced in the production by understudies.
A decision will be released today as to whether the production will continue. An unsympathetic (and frankly disgusting) London audience booed last night as stage management told them both Staunton and Horne had been taken ill earlier that day. Although audience members watching the show when Horne collapsed will be refunded, the theatre has refused to comment on whether other theatregoers can exchange their tickets.
These positive reports of Horne conflict strongly with those made by “James Corden” on Twitter, an account with 2,401 followers. The account, impersonating the actor, spent yesterday sending negative updates on Horne’s condition, telling fans that he was “in really bad shape” and criticising comedian Rob Brydon‘s jokes about Horne (Brydon had said Horne was going to be fine, and laughingly – and fairly obviously fondly – attributed it to his ‘tight jeans‘, hoping Horne would now favour ‘a casual slack’) by saying Bryon didn’t know ‘what kind of state Mat’s in’.
A suspicious Brydon contacted Horne’s co-star Corden, and made the following announcement yesterday evening at around 9 p.m.: “From the horse’s mouth, James Corden is not on Twitter so the posts re Mat are from someone with a lovely sense of humour. You must be proud“. The account has not been updated since.
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.