Updated at: 11/05/2012 9:05 AM
(AP) LONDON - British theater director Peter Hall has apologized for disrupting the performance of a "Downton Abbey" star during the opening night of a West End stage show.
Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley in the hit costume drama, was performing the final speech of Anton Chekhov’s "Uncle Vanya" when Hall began speaking loudly from the auditorium.
Audience members heard the 81-year-old director repeatedly saying "it’s not working" while Carmichael spoke.
On Monday, Hall insisted he had not been heckling, but was merely "briefly disorientated" after waking from a brief doze.
Hall, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said he was "mortified that I unintentionally disrupted" Friday’s performance.
He said his remarks "were not in any way related to `Uncle Vanya’ which I think is a very fine production with a marvelous company of actors."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)