The one-woman show Tea at Five, in which Dunaway played the famed actress Katharine Hepburn, had been in the middle of a test run in Boston ahead of its Broadway debut later this year, but Page Six reported that Dunaway’s behaviour had become so “hostile” that producers had no choice but to fire her.
The show’s 10 July performance was abruptly cancelled moments before curtain as Dunaway had allegedly “slapped and thrown things at crew members who were trying to put on her wig”, according to sources close to Page Six. They then reported that Dunaway began “verbally abusing” the crew in the aftermath.
Page Six also alleged that Dunaway’s firing came on the heels of the actor being “frequently late for rehearsals”, making a number of odd requests including one insisting that no one wear white to rehearsals because it “distracted [Dunaway]” and incidents in which she “allegedly threw mirrors, combs and boxes of hairpins at the staff”.
Producers Scott Beck and Ben Feldman issued a statement yesterday announcing that they had “terminated their relationship with Faye Dunaway”, adding: “Plans are in development for the play to have its West End debut early next year with a new actress to play the role of Katharine Hepburn.”
In a statement to The Independent, Dunaway’s theatrical agent in the UK, who has represented Dunaway for 20 years, said: “With certain artists there is always more drama off stage than on, which is unfortunate. We did not work with Ms Dunaway on Tea at Five as we represent European projects and therefore have not been in touch with either the producers or indeed Ms Dunaway regarding this recent event. If however physical abuse against hard working theatre personnel has taken place as alleged then we will no longer be in a position to represent Ms Dunaway.”