Stratford Shakespeare Festival veteran Brian Bedford has withdrawn from an upcoming role in The Misanthrope, citing medical reasons.
"Brian's condition is treatable, and it is expected that he will make a full recovery. However, it does require immediate medical attention, which means he will not be able to take part in The Misanthrope," artistic director Des McAnuff said in a statement Monday.
"In the meantime, we send him our very best wishes for a speedy recovery."
The nature of Bedford's medical condition was not disclosed.
Bedford recently completed an award-winning, extended run of The Importance of Being Earnest at Broadway's Roundabout Theatre. It earned the British-born Canadian actor kudos for his direction as well as for his star turn as the formidable Lady Bracknell (for which he won a Drama Desk Award and was nominated for Tony). The performance was also recorded for broadcast around the world.
However, Bedford's revival originally started at Stratford in 2009.
"I have done 27 seasons [at the festival] and I'm proud of it. It's made my life actually," Bedford told CBC News earlier this year.
"I wanted to have a typical, classical English actor's career doing Shakespeare and the classics. That's what Stratford has provided for me, so that's why I say it's made my life."
Peter Hutt, another Stratford stalwart, will take over Bedford's role of Oronte in The Misanthrope, which begins previews July 31 and opens August 12.
Hutt will balance the role with his appearance in Stratford's 2011 production of The Grapes of Wrath.