After Taron Egerton's On-Stage Collapse And COVID Diagnosis, He's Stepping Away From The West End Play

Though Taron Egerton has brought some major energy to movies like the Kingsman movies, Rocketman and through his voiceover role in Sing, the actor has spent the past month on the stage as a lead in a London play called COCK. But following two incidents during his run, the actor has decided to step away from the West End play.

On his first night playing the boyfriend to Bridgerton lead Jonathan Bailey’s John in COCK, Taron Egerton collapsed on stage, and his understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, finished out the performance for him. The following day, Egerton updated fans, sharing that he was “completely fine” and just had a “slightly sore neck and a bruised ego.” Last week, Egerton tested positive for COVID-19 as well, with plans to return this week. 

As it turns out, the actor will not be returning to COCK after the second incident as the production updated on its Instagram account. Here’s how the play officially announced the Rocketman actor’s exit: 

[Taron Egerton] had to withdraw from the production due to personal reasons. Joel [Harper-Jackson] understudied the role and has been playing the part of M for the past ten days while Taron was absent from the production having tested positive for COVID.

The actor has yet to comment on dropping out of the show, with the exception of the "personal reasons" message. He doesn’t have any other known scheduling conflicts to prepare for in the world of movies and TV. Perhaps the star simply needed a break, decided it wasn’t the right time for him to have a commitment in a play or has something else going on that he'd like to keep private. We truly cannot guess but, luckily, he has a game understudy.

Joel Harper-Jackson will finish out the run of COCK, which is playing at the Ambassadors Theatre in London until June 4, 2022. Alongside the announcement, his co-star Jonathan Bailey shared that he was “proud” to continue to share the stage with him. Bailey is currently more popular than ever as he recently starred as Lord Anthony Bridgerton for the second season’s central love story. The show’s director, Marianne Elliott, called him an “absolute hero”.  

Taron Egerton recently portrayed The Tetris Company founder Henk Rogers in an AppleTV+ movie called Tetris, which is expected to be among 2022’s upcoming movies. The actor will also star in an AppleTV+ true crime series called In With The Devil, in which he’ll play the author who wrote the serial killer book the show is based on. 

Additionally, there are reported plans for the star to reprise his role as Eggsy from Kingsman in a third installment in what is expected to be the “final chapter” for him and Colin Firth’s Harry, per writer/director Matthew Vaughn in 2019. Taron Egerton may have had to cut his play short by three months, but the 32-year-old has a lot of great roles ahead of him.  

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.