Lawson illness halts Rebus

Oct 9 2018 | By More

Charles Lawson falls ill during performance at King’s

Charles Lawson, the Coronation Street star who is currently playing the title role in Rebus: Long Shadows, fell ill and was unable to continue during the opening night of the show at the Edinburgh King’s tonight, Monday 8 October 2018.

Lawson is best known as Jim McDonald in Coronation Street, a role he has played since 1989. Rebus Long Shadows opened at Birmingham Rep in September and is on the second date of an eight venue tour ending in Guildford in November.

Charles Lawson as Rebus Pic: Robert Day

Charles Lawson as Rebus Pic: Robert Day

The incident occurred early in the second act, during a key scene with John Stahl as Rebus’s nemesis, the villain Big Ger Cafferty. The flow of the play appeared to stutter at several points and eventually Lawson, clearly in some distress, called for a line from the prompt.

After several attempts to continue he said: “I’m sorry, I feel faint”, before collapsing into a chair, then being helped from stage by his fellow performers.

The full house were asked to stay in the seats as the house light were brought up. After ten minutes it was announced that the play would continue “so the rest of the story can be revealed”.

Neil McKinven who is Lawson’s understudy and plays a succession of small male roles during the first act, took over the role of Rebus “on the book”. He continued to the end allowing both the who-dunnit element to be revealed but, probably more crucially, the character to develop to the conclusion.

The production continues at the Edinburgh King’s all week to Saturday. In the event that Charles Lawson is unable to perform, Neil McKinven will take his place with McKinven’s own understudy, Andy Paterson, in his roles.

All Edinburgh Theatre sends best wishes to Charles Lawson for a quick recuperation.


Rebus: Long Shadows
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Monday 8 – Saturday 13 October 2018.
Evenings: 7.30pm, matinees Wed, Sat: 2.30pm.
Tickets and details:



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Comments (3)

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  1. Charles says:

    Lawson was fantastic as was the whole show, would highly recommend. Hopefully he’s able to continue with the other shows.