Timothée Chalamet's London Stage Debut in '4000 Miles' Postponed

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Timothée Chalamet

The actor was four weeks into rehearsals to star opposite Eileen Atkins in Amy Herzog's play, which has been put on pause at The Old Vic.

Chalamaniacs getting breathless over the prospect of seeing their idol onstage will have to wait a bit longer.

Amid the ongoing wave of major theater productions being postponed on both sides of the Atlantic, Timothée Chalamet's British stage debut in the Amy Herzog play 4000 Miles has been put on hold at The Old Vic in London.

The production was due to begin previews April 6 ahead of an April 16 opening night, in a limited engagement scheduled to run through May 23.

Chalamet, who has been absent from the stage since earning rave reviews in the 2016 off-Broadway premiere of John Patrick Shanley's Prodigal Son, had been in rehearsals for a month on the Herzog drama. He plays a 21-year-old Midwesterner who turns up on the Greenwich Village doorstep of his 91-year-old grandmother in the middle of the night after losing a friend in a disastrous cross-country bicycle trip.

The production is being staged by Old Vic artistic director Matthew Warchus, with distinguished British theater veteran and three-time Olivier Award winner Eileen Atkins playing the grandmother. 

"Last week I completed the fourth thrilling week of rehearsals for Amy Herzog's radiant play 4000 Miles," Warchus said Thursday in a statement on the Old Vic website. "With just days to go before delivering this production to a sold-out run of eager audiences, we are now regrettably temporarily closing The Old Vic so that we can play our part in slowing down the spread of the coronavirus.

"Interestingly, given this period of social distancing, 4000 Miles is a meditation on the distances between people — geographical distances, political distances, emotional distances and generational distances," continued Warchus. "It is very rare indeed that the two lead characters in a drama are separated by 70 years, and it has been, honestly, an absolute privilege to be in the rehearsal room with Eileen Atkins and Timothée Chalamet as they built their beautiful performances together. And I think it is actually very powerful and uplifting to see that a large part of what's motivating younger people to self-isolate now is their consideration for those older people who are more at risk."

The Old Vic was one of the first major London theaters to cease operations due to coronavirus concerns, last week suspending performances of its well-reviewed revival of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, with Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming, two weeks before the end of the run. A blanket shutdown of theaters in the capital and across the U.K. followed on Monday.

Ticket holders for 4000 Miles are being encouraged to sit tight and wait for new performance dates to be announced once theaters are able to reopen.