Elissa Blake August 17, 2012
Hamish Michael, Colin Friels and Patrick Brammall in Belvoir's production of Death of a Salesman.
Actor Colin Friels has collapsed on stage during a performance of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and was taken to hospital.
A spokeswoman for the Belvoir theatre company said Friels, 59, was not feeling well during the interval last night but wanted to go on.
During the second act, he staggered towards a stage exit and collapsed. A doctor in the audience assisted him until an ambulance arrived to take him to St Vincent's Hospital.
The show was cancelled and audience members were offered tickets to see the show again when it transfers to the Theatre Royal in October.
Friels had a number of tests in hospital and is now resting at home.
A Belvoir spokeswoman said tonight's show and two shows tomorrow have been cancelled. Belvoir is hopeful Friels will be back for the final performance on Sunday.
Death of a Salesman only had three more shows to play at Belvoir after a critically acclaimed sold-out season. It is still scheduled to transfer to the Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) next week for a short Victorian season.
Friels plays the lead role, Willy Loman, and is on stage for almost three hours every show.
With the season's final performance on Sunday, and all tickets sold, ticket holders for the cancelled performances would be offered seats for the return season of Death of a Salesman at the Theatre Royal in October and November.
A spokeswoman for Belvoir said Friels had been suffering from flu for a few days. He did not lose consciousness when he collapsed, she said.
Friels was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1997 and has been in long-term remission. He is married to stage actress Judy Davis.
Friels is in the middle of a theatre comeback. He portrayed American painter Mark Rothko in the Melbourne Theatre Company production of Red in March, before starting rehearsals for Death of a Salesman.
He turns 60 next month.
Last month, actor Tom Long collapsed on stage during a performance of Coranderrk: We Will Show The Country at Sydney Opera House.