Mark Gatiss has unexpectedly pulled out of a Christmas production due to the serious illness of a close family member.
The actor (pictured), best known for his roles in The League of Gentlemen and Dr Who, was due to play Professor Gabriel Stokes in Michael Punter's Victorian ghost play, Darker Shores, at the Hampstead Theatre.
The play is directed by current Artistic Director Anthony Clark, who said thoughts are with Mark, who is currently with his family.
“We are very sad that his hard work and talent will not be seen on stage in this production. However, we are very fortunate to have Tom Goodman-Hill joining the cast at the eleventh hour. He joins us during technical rehearsals and we are confident that he will bring an equally special quality to the role.”
Tom Goodman-Hill has just completed a hugely successful run in Enron at the Royal Court.
Darker Shores runs from 7 December (with previews from 4 December) until 16 January 2010.