Actor Laurence Fox, who plays Detective Inspector James Hathaway in Lewis, recently made headlines in Britain with a dramatic conclusion to a play in which he’s currently starring.
The Patriotic Traitor, which opened in London’s West End last month, and runs through March 19th, is about the relationship between French President Charles de Gaulle and the politician Philippe Pétain, during World War II. Fox portrays de Gaulle, who in 1945 had his oldest friend, Pétain, played by actor Tom Conti, tried for treason. The end of the play is reportedly particularly emotional and features a final speech delivered by Fox’s character.
During a recent performance an audience member, who was seated in the front row, started muttering and swearing. The heckling began early on and continued throughout the course of the play. By the end of the show, Fox, who said "it became so loud and impossible to deal with," stopped acting, swore back at the heckler and refused to continue the show.
Instead of delivering the final speech of the play, Fox announced to the audience, “I won’t bother telling you the story because this @&%$ in the front row has ruined it for everybody”.
The actor then reportedly stormed off the stage and didn’t return for the curtain call. Although the British public seemed very much on Fox’s side, the actor later apologized saying in a live interview with BBC Radio 4 that he should have dealt with the situation better.
"I really should have had a little speech prepared and gone: 'Excuse me sir, you can either leave, or whatever'.”
Since Lewis concluded its final series at the end of last year after a ten-year-long run, Fox has had more time to devote not only to the stage, but also to forging ahead with his musical career. A few years ago, Fox wrote and recorded a few songs which he posted on the BBC website BBC Music Introducing; a site specifically for undiscovered and unsigned music. His songs were heard by a local BBC Radio DJ and were then given air-time on BBC Radio 2. From there what Fox said started out as a hobby, “quickly turned into something else".
Last month, the 37-year-old, who lives in Camden with his wife actress Billie Piper and their two sons, released his first album, Holding Patterns, and will be touring the UK in May. Two of the shows are already sold out, a testament to Fox’s popularity and to his new album. You can see Fox performing the song "Headlong", taken from the debut album in a music video, here:
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