Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Lucas West End play closes early

Matt Lucas in Prick Up Your Ears
Lucas pulled out of the production after the death of his former partner

West End play Prick Up Your Ears will close three weeks early because of poor ticket sales after Matt Lucas pulled out of his lead role.

The Little Britain star withdrew at the start of October after former partner Kevin McGee was found dead in his Edinburgh flat.

Lucas was replaced in the Simon Bent play by Telstar actor Con O'Neill.

The last performance of Prick Up Your Ears will take place at the Comedy Theatre on Sunday 15 November.

Despite very good feedback and notices for Con O'Neill's performance, the box office sales have not been sufficient to keep the show going
Producers' statement

It tells the story of playwright Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell.

Lucas had been playing Halliwell in the production, which is based on a 1978 biography of the same name by John Lahr as well as Orton's diaries.

"Despite very good feedback and notices for Con O'Neill's performance, the box office sales have not been sufficient to keep the show going," the play's producers said in a statement.

This had forced them to take "the difficult decision" to close the show early.

O'Neill played record producer Joe Meek in Telstar on the West End stage and on film.

Prick Up Your Ears also stars Chris New, as Orton, and veteran actress Gwen Taylor, who starred in 1980s comedies including A Bit of a Do, alongside David Jason and David Thewlis, and Duty Free.



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