herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Star Sarah forced off stage... but Irish fans told 'show must go on'

Former Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding Picture: Getty
Former Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding Picture: Getty
Sarah Harding pictured with her co-star Andy Moss

Sarah Harding is still expected to take to the stage in Dublin next month, despite being forced to pull out of her new show while performing in the UK this week.

The former Girls Aloud singer has been at the centre of reports that she was seriously unwell on stage, stumbling around and slurring her words.

It's understood that the 34-year-old star had taken powerful painkillers for a knee injury while in the middle of Ghost: The Musical.

Hollywood

She plays the lead female role of Molly, the part originally made famous by Demi Moore in the Hollywood movie.

But her understudy, Kelly Hampson, had to step into her shoes during her performance in Blackpool's Winter Gardens on Monday night.

Harding was only able to perform for half the night before Kelly had to take over the part.

Harding was replaced after an extra-long interval of around 40 minutes with an announcement to the audience that the actress had become "indisposed".

Scores of disgruntled fans took to social media to express their disappointment that the singer hadn't been able to perform on the night, given that she's the big-name star in the show.

In a statement from the production company, they said that Harding had to "unexpectedly withdraw" from the show and was back on the following night.

"We are very grateful to Monday's audience for being so supportive and understanding, including for the kind comments received for both Sarah and Kelly," it read.

Sarah herself took to her Twitter account to defend herself in the midst of speculation about her health on Tuesday evening.

"Some people should learn to get their facts right before making assumptions," she said.

The show runs at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre from November 8 to 12. When asked what kind of performance Irish ticketholders could expect from Harding, given what happened in the UK this week, a spokesperson for the venue declined to comment.

However, it's understood that it's a case of 'the show must go on' when it comes to her Irish appearance.

Awards

It's been three years since the singer was last on these shores, when she came over for an interview on RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan show, accompanied by her ex-boyfriend, DJ Mark Foster.

A former member of girlband Girls Aloud, Sarah and her bandmates collectively clocked up more than 20 Top 10 hits including four number ones and a string of awards.

Earlier this year saw her appear alongside Dublin star Brian McFadden in reality ski-ing show 'Jump!'.

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