Shakespeare in Sydney cancelled due to a lot of barf

It’s not often the New South Wales Food Authority is mentioned along with Shakespeare.

But the health types have been brought in after the Opening Night performance of Bell Shakespeare’s Macbeth was cancelled due to severe illness amongst the company.

Bell have been forced to recategorise the performance on Wednesday 4 April as a preview performance for family and friends after cast members Dan Spielman (Macbeth), Ivan Donato (Macduff) and Robert Jago (Malcolm) as well as Assistant Director John Kachoyan all contracted severe food poisoning. Two of the group had to be admitted to hospital as a result of their illness, with the other two members bed-ridden for several days.

Other opening night guests will be contacted and moved to another performance next week, with the season set to commence as planned on Thursday 5 April.

The downgrading of the show’s Opening Night follows the cancellation of the first three previews of the production, that had been scheduled for Friday 30 March, Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April.

Bell Shakespeare General Manager, Christopher Tooher said in a statement that “the condition of the four affected Company members is being constantly monitored. All are now showing significant signs of improvement and we aim to go ahead with a preview tomorrow night, with a second preview now scheduled for Wednesday 4 April.

"We are currently working with the NSW Food Authority regarding the source of the food poisoning."