Tom Hanks Responded To A Medical Emergency At His Play Like A Total Pro

"God has decided this play needed a second intermission."

"America's Dad" Tom Hanks recently showed off his improvisational skills during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry IV with the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. According to the Orange County Register, an audience member fell ill during the play, and the show was halted for several minutes.

The crew reportedly included military veterans with medical training who helped the individual until paramedics arrived. "An ambulance was called, so we had to stop the show for about 20 minutes. As the minutes ticked by, the audience became a little restless," Heath Harper, Hanks' dialect coach, told Variety


That's when Hanks reemerged on stage as his character Falstaff, to entertain the audience. "God has decided this play needed a second intermission," he declared, adding to those who got up from their seats during the break, "Get back here or find this sword and many a dagger placed neatly in the tires of your carriage."

The actor also asked a woman wearing an orange outfit similar to his own to "give me back my costume." After some back-and-forth, he brought her on stage. All the while, the audience laughed and applauded.

"It credits the work we've done and Tom's commitment to the character that he was able to just jump on the stage and improv as Falstaff like that," Harper said of the moment. "The audience absolutely ate it up and loved every minute."

The Shakespeare Center posted video from the performance on Facebook, writing that the audience member was "shortly cleared and released." Harper told Variety that "the show went on and the crowd was completely behind us to the end, giving us standing ovations all around."

We wouldn't expect anything less from Tom Hanks. The actor is appearing in the production until July 1. 

Watch Hanks entertain the crowd in the video below:

(H/T: Mashable)

Cover image: Featureflash Photo Agency /


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