Timothée Chalamet’s London play has been cancelled amid the current coronavirus pandemic.
The actor was due to star in Amy Herzog’s play 4000 Miles which was scheduled to be shown at The Old Vic in April. The Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, which will also star Eileen Atkins, will be directed by The Old Vic’s artistic director Matthew Warchus and tell the story of family grief and follows a 21-year-old as he cycles across America with his best friend.
The play, which enjoyed success Off-Broadway in 2011 before returning again in 2012, was a finalist for the 2013 coveted Pulitzer Prize for Drama award. “When Leo Joseph-Connell suffers a major loss while he was on a cross-country bike trip, he seeks solace from his feisty grandmother Vera Joseph in her West Village apartment,” the play’s synopsis reads.
Now though, The Old Vic has been forced to put the show on hold while the UK attempts to step up its response to the current coronavirus pandemic. “It is with great sadness that we are temporarily closing The Old Vic in line with the latest government on coronavirus (COVID-19) and postponing our production of Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles until theatres are able to re-open,” they wrote in a statement.
Speaking about the cancellation, director Warchus added: “Interestingly, given this period of social distancing, 4000 Miles is a meditation on the distances between people – geographical distances, political distances, emotional distances, and generational distances. It is very rare indeed that the two lead characters in a drama are separated by 70 years… and I think it is actually very powerful and uplifting to see that a large part of what’s motivating younger people to self-isolate now is their consideration for those older people who are more at risk.”
He continued: “Is it possible that this hugely disorienting and challenging upheaval we’re all now navigating, separating ourselves off from each other on a local and global scale, will actually bridge some of the distances between us in the long run?”
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of March 23rd, more than 342,410 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.
With more than 14,762 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 180 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy and Spain, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.