Since November last year – before the coronavirus trapped us all inside – we’ve been eagerly awaiting Timothée Chalamet’s arrival in London. The actor was set to perform in Amy Herzog’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play 4000 Miles, which was coming to The Old Vic next month. Now, as government orders have shut down theatres across the country, it’s been announced that Chalamet won’t be heading to the capital after all.
Writing on The Old Vic website, the theatre said: “It is with great sadness that we are temporarily closing The Old Vic in line with the latest government on coronavirus (COVID-19) and postponing our production of Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles until theatres are able to re-open.”
Directed by Matthew Warchus, the play was also due to star The Crown’s Eileen Atkins, and would have run from April 16 to May 23. 4000 Miles tells the story of family grief, and follows 21-year-old Leo (Chalamet) as he cycles across America with his best friend. After weeks of no communication, Leo suddenly appears in the middle of the night at the Manhattan doorstep of his 91-year-old grandmother Vera (Atkins), and the pair become unlikely roommates.
Speaking about the cancellation, Warchus wrote: “Interestingly, given this period of social distancing, 4000 Miles is a meditation on the distances between people – geographical distances, political distances, emotional distances, and generational distances. It is very rare indeed that the two lead characters in a drama are separated by 70 years… and I think it is actually very powerful and uplifting to see that a large part of what’s motivating younger people to self-isolate now is their consideration for those older people who are more at risk.”
He added: “Is it possible that this hugely disorienting and challenging upheaval we’re all now navigating, separating ourselves off from each other on a local and global scale, will actually bridge some of the distances between us in the long run?”
For those who already scored tickets to the play, the theatre says “you don’t need to do anything at this point”, adding that it will “be in touch as soon as we can with more details about the new performance dates”.