Idris Elba has been branded a ''superhero'' for helping a woman who had a seizure at one of his plays.

The 46-year-old actor has been praised by the Epilepsy Society after he stayed with a woman who was suffering a fit at his show in Manchester earlier this month, until paramedics arrived to take over the woman's care.

Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of the Epilepsy Society, said: ''Idris put the health and well being of Amanda before his performance and was exemplary in prioritising her safety. We do not know whether Idris has any previous experience of how to deal with a seizure but his actions showed that he was certainly confident in coming to the assistance of Amanda ... Idris's quick thinking shows how a little knowledge and consideration can make a huge difference to anyone having a seizure. None of us know when we might need to rely on others for help in a health crisis. We all owe it to each other to ensure we have basic first aid techniques to help people in the event of an emergency such as a seizure. Well done Idris. And thank you. You really are a #seizuresavvy superhero.''

Amanda Billington, the woman who suffered the seizure, had previously issued her thanks to Idris for making sure she was safe.

She said: ''I would love to thank him personally, but doubt I will cross paths with him, he's very famous.''

Manchester International Festival's artistic director, John McGrath, added: ''She was right next to Idris in the audience so he was there trying to help out and make sure that paramedic support workers got to her. I believe that the lady is now well and fine but it was certainly helpful that Idris was there to help out with that.''