Tom Hanks Entertains Audience During A Medical Emergency

What’s more impressive, going for a night out to watch Tom Hanks perform Shakespeare, or watching Tom Hanks improvise Shakespeare to distract the audience from a medical emergency during the show? The latter is was happened last week during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, and it kept the audience distracted long enough for professionals to attend to the sick audience member.

Tom Hanks stars in the play along with his wife Rita Wilson, which in itself isn’t all that unusual since the pair have been involved with the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles for over 26 years.  But in all that time it’s pretty fair to say that it is pretty unusual for an audience member to become so ill that the play needed to be halted temporarily. The person passed out, and paramedics had to come to treat them. During this time Hanks stepped up to keep the crowd who started to get restless and were looking to leave.

“No intermission brew for you!” Hanks said in character. The 61 year old was playing the comedic character Falstaff. He also started call people who tried to leave “scurvy rogues”. “An insult to all actors and to Shakespeare himself,” he added. He even brought an audience member up onto the stage to join in on the ad-libbing. You can see some of the performance in the video below.

In the end everything turned out fine, as the audience member regained consciousness before being taken to the hospital. The venue later stated that they were cleared and released from the hospital. 

Photo: Tom Hanks Instagram

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