Obviously there’s never a great time to drop down dead, but the demise of Tim Pigott-Smith has really put the tin lid on an ill-starred production of Death Of A Salesman in Northampton.
During rehearsals earlier this month, Tim fell out with one of the actors in the cast. This same actor then (completely accidentally) broke Mrs Piggot-Smith’s femur while the two of them were rehearsing a scene.
She went to hospital, and the previews were pushed back two days while her understudy could be drafted in.
However, this incident rather inflamed the tension on set and in order for Tim to agree to continue starring in the play, the other actor had to be paid off. For the entire run.
Then, three days before the show was finally due to open – with one actor let go and another in hospital with a broken leg – Tim died.