According to The Sun newspaper, Kathy was taken to hospital yesterday “with a mystery illness after collapsing with crippling stomach pains”. Despite the wisdom of taking any Sun story with a pinch of salt, it has since turned out that Kathy has already been replaced as director for a play opening at the Almeida Theatre in March.
In fact, the Almeida put out a barely noticed press release [Word doc] on 29 January that read: “Anna Mackmin will take over from Kathy Burke to direct the Almeida’s latest commission Dying For It – Moira Buffini’s new free adaptation of Nikolai Erdman’s satirical comedy The Suicide. Kathy Burke has unfortunately had to withdraw from the production at short notice due to ill health.”
Burke’s name has already been changed on the theatre’s website, begging the question: when was Kathy Burke actually taken ill, and how does the Almeida know she will not be fit to direct in a month’s time? Either Kathy’s condition is known to be serious enough that she will not be able to return to work in the near future, or there was a falling out between Burke and the theatre and a period of ill health has been used as a convenient moment to end the association. We shall see if the truth unravels.