Cock: Taron Egerton quits play due to ‘personal reasons’

Taron Egerton has withdrawn from the lead role in his new West End play.

The Rocketman star was cast opposite Bridgerton actor Jonathan Bailey in a revival of Mike Bartlett’s Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre, but fainted on stage during his first preview performance.

He then pulled out of the show for a week after contracting Covid-19.

It’s now been announced he has withdrawn completely due to personal reasons, with his understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, replacing the actor full-time.

Director Marianne Elliott said of Harper-Jackson: “Joel is an absolute hero. He is a brilliant and gifted actor and stepped into the role at extremely short notice. Audiences have been standing and cheering and so am I.”

Bailey added: “Joel is an immense talent and we couldn’t be luckier to have him on board. I am proud to continue sharing the stage with him.”

After collapsing on stage, Egerton reassured fans on social media that he was “completely fine” and had only been left with a “slightly sore neck and a bruised ego”.

Taron Egerton won’t return to perform on the West End alongside Jonathan Bailey

(Getty Images)

Cock centres around John (Bailey), a man who falls in love with a woman (Jade Anouka) after going on a break from his long-term boyfriend (Egerton).

Read The Independent’s four-star review of Cock, which will run through to 4 June, here.