THEY say the show must go on – but that proved impossible at the opening night of a production at the Oxford Playhouse.

Mary Shelley opened to packed audiences on Tuesday evening but hit a stumbling block when one of the lead actresses fainted.

Audiences were told during the interval that Flora Nicholson, who was playing Mary Shelley’s sister Fanny, had been taken ill with heat exhaustion. The performance was abandoned while she was taken away in an ambulance. She has now fully recovered.

Theatre spokesman Madeleine Woolgar said: “Flora fainted from heat exhaustion during the interval of Tuesday’s opening night so the second half of the show had to be cancelled.”

Members of the original audience were offered free return tickets.