Brian Bedford
(© Tristan Fuge)
Brian Bedford
(© Tristan Fuge)
Tony Award winner Brian Bedford has withdrawn from Stratford Shakespeare Festival's 2011 season, due to medical reasons. He was to have played Oronte in The Misanthrope. In his absence, Peter Hutt will assume the role.

In a statement, Stratford Shakespeare's artistic director, Des McAnuff, said, "Brian's condition is treatable, and it is expected that he will make a full recovery. However, it does require immediate medical attention."

Bedford recently completed a Broadway run of The Importance of Being Earnest, which he originally directed for the Festival's 2009 season. He was nominated for a 2011 Tony Award and received a 2011 Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Lady Bracknell in the production. He won a Tony in 1971, for a Broadway production of The School for Wives, and has also been Tony-nominated for Tartuffe, London Assurance, The Moliere Comedies, Timon of Athens, and Two Shakespearean Actors.

Hutt is in his twelfth season at Stratford Shakespeare, and is also playing Muley Graves and the Contractor in The Grapes of Wrath. He has also performed 20 seasons at the Shaw Festival, and has done extensive work in film and television.

The Misanthrope, directed by David Grindley, will run July 31-October 29, with an official opening on August 12. The cast also includes Ben Carlson as Alceste, Juan Chioran as Philinte, and Sara Topham as Célimène.

For tickets and more information, click here.