Coronation Street star to return to Rebus stage play tonight

Ian Rankin and Charles Lawson met up before Monday's opening night performance.
Ian Rankin and Charles Lawson met up before Monday's opening night performance.
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Coronation Street star Charles Lawson is to return to the stage as Inspector Rebus tonight.

The 59-year-old actor has been given the all-clear by doctors to take to the stage of the King's Theatre.

Lawson's understudy Neil McKinven had to replace him for half the run at the venue after the opening night performance was suddenly halted when the lead actor took ill.

He appeared to forget his lines and told the audience he was feeling faint near the start of the second half of the play, co-created by author Ian Rankin and playwright Rona Munro.

Lawson had been performing in a pivotal scene with John Stahl, who plays Rebus’s arch-nemesis Cafferty, and Cathy Tyson, who plays long-time the retired detective’s long-time sidekick Siobhan Clarke.

Stahl and Tyson helped Lawson from the stage before McKinven took over the role of Rebus after a break of around five minutes.

A statement from the show's producers said: "Doctors have now confirmed that Charles Lawson may return to work and so we are delighted that he will be performing the role of Rebus at the King's Theatre this evening."

Lawson has not commented publicly on his absence from the production, the first time Rankin's grizzled detective has featured in a stage play.