School's Sweeney Todd Play Goes Bloody Wrong

2 boys taken to hospital with cuts to their necks
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2016 10:41 AM CDT
School's Sweeney Todd Play Goes Bloody Wrong
School officials aren't sure what happened.   (Shutterstock)

If you're going to have a prop mishap, you'd hope it wouldn't be during a play about a barber who uses a razor to slit his customers' throats. But that's what went down during the opening night of Saint Kentigern College's production of Sweeney Todd on Wednesday in Wellington, New Zealand. Headmaster Stephen Cole says actors were using an "authentic" razor that had been filed down, wrapped in "duct tape, foam, and silver paper," and examined "through all sorts of health and safety checks," per One News and the Guardian. Even so, two 16-year-old boys' suffered cuts to their necks during a throat-slitting scene. Both were taken to a hospital—one with serious injuries and one with moderate injuries—but have since been released.

"No announcements were made to the audience that the throat slitting was not all just fake blood," an audience member tells "The show went on, we never knew anything about the real blood being spilt until later." "It was a very unfortunate mishap," Cole adds, noting that particular scene had been practiced "many times" since January, including during eight dress rehearsals, per the New Zealand Herald. Thursday's shows have been canceled but the goal is to resume production on Friday, "obviously, without those particular props," Cole says. "Maybe next year we'll do something more general." WorkSafe New Zealand and police are investigating, though officers note it is "not a criminal inquiry." (Cops were recently called to a kindergarten play.)

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