Craig McLachlan’s stage comeback has been put on pause amid growing COVID-19 cases around the country.
It comes just days after the announcement that the 55-year-old would star as US country music legend Hank Williams in the production Nobody Lonesome For Me, the first stage appearance since he was acquitted of assault charges.
The show — scheduled to premiere in Perth on July 29 at His Majesty’s Theatre before travelling around the country — has been postponed until 2022 as organisers grapple with the logistical nightmare and threat to audiences as a result of COVID restrictions.
“Everyone is extremely nervous, especially theatre owners as a result of COVID,” a disappointed McLachlan said after meeting with producers Anthony Kennard and Jenny Loftes and director Vanessa Scammell.
The show was scheduled to head to Broken Hill, Tamworth, Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston and Brisbane over coming months.
“A lot of fans had expressed on social media how much they were looking forward to the show and the decision to postpone was not taken lightly,” McLachlan said.
“But it will be rescheduled when we are able to be more certain about arrangements and the safety of fans and our team. Don’t worry, Hank is coming.”
Tickets will be fully refunded.
Nobody Lonesome For Me tells the story of the last two hours in the life of legendary country music performer, Hank Williams, who died on New Year’s Eve, 1953.
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford said the play’s two-week season in Perth was “perhaps a little ambitious”, but McLachlan had a loyal fan base.
“You can just imagine that first night which is July 29, when Craig’s backstage waiting to go onstage, the tension and nerves and excitement, the combination of all three for him to make that step back onto the stage in front of the public again,” he told 6PR Breakfast radio.
McLachlan was acquitted in December of assault allegations against four women on the set of the Rocky Horror Show in 2014.
In a tell-all interview with Channel Seven last month, McLachlan said he was frustrated about the “absolute demolition” of his life as a result of the allegations.
“The crucifixion was so brutal,” he said.