DAME Judi Dench has been forced to temporarily pull out of a new London play after badly spraining her ankle in a fall outside the theatre on Thursday (19Mar09).
The Casino Royale star, 74, was exiting the Wyndham theatre, where she is starring in new play Madame De Sade, when she tripped over a stage door and had to be taken to hospital.
She is now nursing an injured ankle and has been ordered to rest up and allow it to heal - but she is determined to be back at work next week (begs23Mar09).
Her spokesperson says, "As Judi Dench was leaving the theatre, she tripped at the stage door and fell. She was taken to Accident and Emergency, where she was diagnosed with a severely sprained ankle.
"Doctors have advised that she bring no weight to bear on her foot for the time being. As a consequence, Judi's role of Madame de Montreuil will be performed this weekend by her understudy Marjorie Hayward.
"The Donmar theatre company and Judi apologise for any upset or inconvenience this may cause, and wish to reassure those with tickets that it is her intention to return to the role next week."
Dench's injury comes just one week after the play debuted in the West End (13Mar09).