World

School 'Sweeney Todd' Performance Ends In Bloodshed

| by Zara Zhi
Front of St. Kentigern College High SchoolFront of St. Kentigern College High School

Two students in Auckland, New Zealand, were rushed to hospital after an opening night performance of the musical, "Sweeney Todd," resulted in neck slashes.

The Saint Kentigern College high school production about a murderous barber ended in disaster when two teen performers had their necks cut open by a prop straight razor on stage.

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The two 16-year-old boys were taken to hospital on April 6, reports CNN. One of the actors had more serious wounds than the other, but both were released from the hospital the next day, according to the New Zealand Herald.

The razor was purchased at an antique shop for around $27 to be used for the play a few months ago. An anonymous witness told New Zealand Herald that he thought the person who bought the prop was a teacher at St. Kentigern College and “a really nice chap.”

The person who sold the razors was rather distraught after hearing about the news, but the sale of cutthroat razors wasn’t out of the ordinary and the item had been purchased by an adult, the witness said.

The school’s headmaster, Stephan Cole, told reporters that the actors were injured by a prop razor “covered in all sorts of duct tape and foam and paper.”

“It’s a razor, but it’s been filed down and bound with various things,” he noted.

Cole maintains that the razor was not sharp and was used during rehearsals without incident. "It was an unfortunate isolated incident which we're of course very disturbed about," he said.

When asked if a plastic prop should have been used instead, he said, “In hindsight that may be a reasonable point.”

Authorities and school safety officials are investigating the matter, but the school asserts that no problems would be found, according to Cole.

Prop accidents have been known to happen from time to time, according to CNN. An Italian actor was killed in a botched hanging scene during an experimental theater performance in Pisa in January.

In February, a Japanese actor died when he was stabbed  in the stomach with a samurai sword during rehearsal.

Sources: CNN, New Zealand Herald / Photo credit: Jason Oxenham via New Zealand Herald