The show continued after Comer’s departure, with her understudy Dani Arlington completing the matinee performance.
Wildfire smoke from Canada has descended on New York City in recent days, basking the city in an orange haze yesterday.
People were advised to stay indoors and wear masks, with a performance of Hamilton and sports matches postponed due to the smoke.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for Prime Facie said: “Today’s matinee of Prima Facie was halted approximately 10 minutes into the performance after Jodie Comer had difficulty breathing due to the poor air quality in New York City because of smoke from the Canadian wildfires.”
Jodie Comer in the Preview of the 76th Annual Tony Awards
“To be able be there and with all the other productions and all the other nominees and celebrate theater like it’s so joyous and it’s such a collaboration” pic.twitter.com/TIGcfQmKFY
— Enos Aniretak (@EnosAniretak) June 8, 2023
Arlington stepped into the role of Tessa and performed the roughly 100-minute performance right the way through. A witness told Deadline, Arlington “earned an enthusiastic applause”, while also speaking about the Comer departure.
“About three minutes into her performance when she coughed, paused and called out to the stage manager, ‘I can’t breathe in this air.’”
Variety reports that Comer was helped off the stage by the stage manager.
Prima Facie has been nominated for four Tony Awards, including for Comer’s performance.