The audience were thrilled and applauded loudly at the life-like scene of Daniel Hoevels, 30, slitting his throat during the performance of Mary Stuart at Vienna’s acclaimed Burgtheater theater. The problem is that it was real. Hoevels, who staggered around the stage and then collapsed, had used a real knife by mistake. Given that Mary Stuart’s decapitation, Hoevels’ accident may be the curse of the Queen of Scots.
The play on the tragedies and life of Mary Queen of Scots ended as medical crews rushed to the famous theater. Wolfgang Lenz, the attending doctor, said “Just a little deeper, and he would have been drowning in his own blood.”
There are a surprising number of accidents with prop weapons, particularly guns, click here.
It turns out to be a case of negligence by the stage crew, though it does not appear that Hoevels is going to sue. This would certainly qualify as a negligent act by the props department of Hoevels’ Thalia Theater ensemble. They had just decided to replace a malfunctioning stage knife. Of course, this one worked all too well.
My biggest concern is that Hoevels is now preparing for his role in Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther where the lead character shoots himself in the head.
Hoevels could well have used the line of Mary herself in having such an audience (if he could speak) as medical crews tore open his shirt and worked to save him on stage. When Mary was taken to the gallows and disrobed, she reportedly remarked: “Never have I had such assistants to disrobe me, and never have I put off my clothes before such a company.”
For the full story, click here.
2 thoughts on “The Curse of the Queen of Scots: Actor Mistakingly Slits His Own Throat With Use of Real Knife in Play”
With apologies to Shakespeare, it seems that Brutus’ ingratitude is not truly the “unkindest cut of all.” Et tu, prop man?
Let me say immediately that I’ll glad “all’s well that ends well” and hope for this man’s speedy and complete recovery.
Still when I read this it reminded me of the many plays and movies where the actor makes dramatic staggering motions just before he collapses and dies on stage, moves that until now, had seemed a bit over the top. I’ll remember this next time I see that.
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