THE actor Charles Lawson, known for his long time role in Coronation Street, is too ill to play the role of Inspector Rebus tonight.

Lawson is the star of Rebus: Long Shadows, the new stage version of the Ian Rankin detective.

However, on Monday night, he was taken ill towards the end of the show and his understudy Neil McKinven had to step in, script in hand, to complete the performance.

Mr Lawson took ill on stage and helped off the stage by his colleagues.

Tonight Mr Lawson, who played Jim McDonald in the long running soap, has been deemed too ill to perform, and again Mr McKinven will step in to play the title role.

There are two shows, at the King's Theatre, tomorrow (Wednesday) and the show runs to 13 October.

READ MORE: Neil Cooper's review of Rebus: Long Shadows

A statement from Capital Theatres said: "Charles Lawson was unfortunately taken ill towards the end of last night's performance of Rebus: Long Shadows at the King’s Theatre Edinburgh.

"However, in true theatrical fashion, his understudy Neil McKinven went on and completed the performance.

"Doctors have advised that Mr Lawson should not perform this evening and so Neil McKinven will perform the part of Rebus.

"Mr Lawson will be back on stage as soon as possible."

The Herald's theatre critic Neil Cooper, in his three-star review of the show today, reported: "Up until being taken ill, Lawson’s Rebus was a masterly study in hangdog righteousness.

"Picking up the mantle, even using a script McKinven grasps the lost dog vulnerability of the role in a rare star turn on home turf.

"The Herald wishes Lawson a speedy recovery, and hopes he will be back on the beat soon."