Downton Abbey star Laura Carmichael gave an admirable performance for her West End debut in Chekhov classic Uncle Vanya.

The actress - known for her role as Lady Edith Crawley in the hit TV show - stars opposite Anna Friel, Ken Stott and Samuel West in the play which opened at London's Vaudeville Theatre, in the Strand.

Carmichael stoically carried on with her closing monologue despite a member of the audience in the front rows becoming unwell and causing a commotion.

In the audience to support Carmichael were her Downton co-stars Joanne Froggatt, Amy Nuttall and Phyllis Logan, who play housemaid Anna, disgraced maid Ethel and housekeeper Mrs Hughes.

Also in the audience were Luther star Idris Elba and Friel's partner Rhys Ifans, who made V for victory signs to her during the curtain call.

Logan said of the show: "I loved it. Laura was great. She must have thought she was being heckled but she just kept on going. She did so well."

Nuttall said: "She was amazing. But we think she was miscast because she kept saying 'I'm so plain' and she's so beautiful."

Froggatt agreed and added: "We loved our girl."

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