Matilda Trunchbull star takes hiatus

Craig Bierko Bierko has starred in series including Sex and the City and Ally McBeal

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Actor Craig Bierko, who replaced Bertie Carvel in the role of Miss Trunchbull in the Broadway production of Matilda, has bowed out of the role for 12 weeks.

Bierko was originally scheduled to begin performances in the show on 3 September, but delayed his start by two weeks, citing a shoulder injury.

A statement from the press office earlier this week said the injury had been "aggravated during performance".

Bierko was nominated for a Tony for his leading role in 2000's The Music Man.

"Craig Bierko will be taking a 12-week disability leave from the production," the press office said. "At this time, understudies Chris Hoch and Ben Thompson will be playing Miss Trunchbull."

Bierko, whose film credits have included the Oscar-nominated 2005 film Cinderella Man and 1996's The Long Kiss Goodnight, took over the role of the tyrannical, hammer-throwing headmistress from Carvel, who originated the role in the London production earning an Olivier award.

The cast of Matilda The Musical, including Bertie Carvel (right), in New York. Bertie Carvel (right) departed the New York production at the beginning of September

Bierko's most recent Broadway appearance was in the 2009 production of Guys and Dolls. He has appeared in a string of small screen hits including Ally McBeal and Sex and the City.

He was also cast as Dave Lister in the pilot for the US version of Red Dwarf, but the series was never made.

Based on the Roald Dahl book about a girl with magical powers, British hit Matilda opened to rave reviews in New York in April.

It premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Courtyard Theatre in November 2010 and later transferred to the West End's Cambridge Theatre, where it continues to run.

The show, whose music and lyrics were penned by comedian Tim Minchin, was nominated for 12 Tonys this year - winning four - as well as a special Tony honour for the four girls alternating in the title role.

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