Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 17:42 UK

Hartnett's West End debut delayed

Josh Hartnett
Josh Hartnett is due to make his professional stage debut

The opening night of Hollywood actor Josh Hartnett's West End play has been delayed by a week to allow for extra rehearsals.

The production of Rain Man - currently in previews at the Apollo Theatre - will open on 19 September.

The delay came after the original director David Grindley pulled out for family reasons.

A week's worth of rehearsals were lost to allow replacement Terry Johnson time to take charge.

Hartnett plays Charlie Babbitt, portrayed by Tom Cruise in the film.

He said when he landed the role: "It has always been my intent to work on the London stage."

The play also stars British actor Adam Godley as Hartnett's autistic brother Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman in the film.

His portrayal earned him the Academy Award for best actor.

Hartnett, whose films include Pearl Harbor, added he knew it was the right time to tread the boards when he read the "complex and charismatic character" of Charlie Babbitt.

Hartnett to star in Rain Man play
02 Jul 08 |  Entertainment

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