Taron and Joel -- Cock

Egerton Exits Cock, Joel Harper-Jackson takes over

Taron Egerton has exited the production of Mike Bartlett’s COCK, currently running at the Ambassadors Theatre in London.

Producers Elliott & Harper Productions, run by Marianne Elliott, the play’s director, and Chris Harper, announced today that Taron’s understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, would continue to perform Egerton’s role of M until the play ends on 4 June 2022.

Egerton had a rocky start, fainting during the first preview of the show last month, and having his understudy Joel Harper-Jackson go on for the last 15 minutes.

He then managed a couple of weeks of performances, including the COCK opening night, before testing positive for Covid, and his understudy Harper-Jackson has been covering ever since.

Jonathan Bailey and Joel Harper-Jackson at Curtain Call for Cock, by Craig Sugden
Jonathan Bailey and Joel Harper-Jackson at Curtain Call for Cock, by Craig Sugden

The producers have said that Egerton had to withdraw from the show “due to personal reasons” but didn’t elaborate further.

In a pointedly short statement from Marianne Elliott, which made no reference to Egerton or his performance in the show, she said: “Joel is an absolute hero. He is a brilliant and gifted actor and stepped into the role at extremely short notice. Audiences have been standing and cheering and so am I.”

Egerton’s co-star, Bridgerton actor Jonathan Bailey, said: “Joel is an immense talent and we couldn’t be luckier to have him on board. I am proud to continue sharing the stage with him.”

Other cast in the play are Jade Anouka as W and Phil Daniels as F. The understudies are: Dominic Holmes (John and M), Jessica Whitehurst (W) and John Vernon (F).

From the get-go, producers got a heavy-weight to understudy Taron Egerton. Joel Harper-Jackson is a highly experienced stage actor, with credits including Charlie Price in the UK tour of Kinky Boots, the UK tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical at The Aldwych Theatre, and Che in Evita at the Ljubljana Festival in Slovenia. He’s also in the new movie version of Matilda The Musical, starring Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull. The movie is released in cinemas in the UK on 2 December 2022, and then will be on Netflix.

Harper-Jackson’s album, “So What Happens Now?” was released in 2020.

Joel Harper Jackson
Joel Harper Jackson

COCK’s creative team includes Designer Merle Hensel, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson, Composer Femi Temowo, Movement Director Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster, Casting Director Charlotte Sutton, Vocal Coach Hazel Holder and Associate Director Chloe Christian.

Book tickets to COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre, London



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