Taron Egerton Has Left His New Production

By Vic Medina | 1 month ago

Kingsman star Taron Egerton is raising eyebrows, and fans are asking questions, after he pulled out as the star of the play COCK. The dramatic comedy, which is playing on a limited run at the West End’s historic Ambassadors Theatre in London, tells the story of a gay man (Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey) who begins to question his sexual identity when he meets the woman (Jade Anouka) of his dreams. Egerton’s understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, will take over the role for the rest of the play’s run.

The Hollywood Reporter was among the first to report the development. The announcement was made on the play’s official Instagram account, and cites that Egerton is withdrawing from the role for “personal reasons.” The statement also includes quotes from the play’s director, Marianne Elliott, as well as Bailey, who praised Harper-Jackson’s performance. Their quotes do not mention Taron Egerton.

The comedy opened March 5 with Taron Egerton getting strong reviews. However, drama surfaced quickly, as the actor collapsed during the very first performance. Harper-Jackson filled in for the final 15 minutes of the performance. Egerton later apologized on his Instagram account. “As some of you may have heard, I passed out during the first performance of COCK last night. I am completely fine. Slightly sore neck and a bruised ego but I’m fine,” he wrote on his Instagram stories. Taron Egerton did return to the role, until his COVID diagnosis hit. The play will continue with Harper-Jackson in Egerton’s role until it closes on June 4.

Fans reacting on Twitter were largely supportive of Taron Egerton, with most wishing him well and hoping he recovers fully from COVID. Others wondered why the Rocketman actor has not commented on his withdrawal on any of his social media accounts, and why the play’s producers made no mention of Egerton’s health issues nor wished him a speedy recovery. Playwright Dan Rebellato was among those asking questions.

One fan responded to the Instagram announcement of Taron Egerton withdrawing with both disappointment and hope. He also stated, however, that he and many others bought tickets because of Egerton’s participation and star power. “Genuinely gutted that Taron @taron.egerton won’t be in the upcoming shows,” the poster said. “As a fan of his, it’s one of the reasons for booking the show in the first place. I’m sure Joel @joelharperjacks will be great in the show and I’m still going to see it. But the fact is I’ve paid a good amount of money to see a big name star perform. So I’m feeling slightly disappointed that he won’t be there.”

Taron Egerton rose to fame in the 2014 film Kingsman: The Secret Service, and starred in the sequel. He also voiced characters in the Sing animated movies and the Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. His role as Elton John in the film Rocketman earned him a BAFTA nomination. He will appear next in the film Tetris, which tells the true story of the legal battles over the iconic video game. His replacement in the play, Joel Harper-Jackson, is a musician and stage actor, with no TV or film credits. His UK stage credits include Kinky Boots, Pieces Of String, and Myth: The Rise and Fall of Orpheus.