Thursday, December 11, 2008

Check your Props...

"An actor slit his throat on stage when the prop knife for his suicide scene turned out to be a real one." The Guardian article...

Any interesting (hopefully less gruesome) props stories out there?


Anonymous said...

Sept. 1, 1986
Wedding Circle, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens
Portland Actors Ensemble
Merry Wives of Windsor
Act III Scene V. A room in the Garter Inn.

missing prop: a leather-covered bottle.


Bardolph, I say,--

Here, sir.

Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't.


Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a
barrow of butcher's offal, and to be thrown in the
Thames? . . . (rants on)

re-enter BARDOLPH with sack (not!)

re-enter BARDOLPH with a brown, long-neck beer bottle.

(improvising) We have no sack, sir, just this twelve-ounce bottle of Old Nick.

(resuming) Here's Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.

note: In this case, the actor had actually checked his props. The bottle was among the items missing when the company discovered the prop stock had been vandalized and looted prior to the performance.

Jeremy Lillie said...

At the very top of the opeining performance of the 2006 "Merry Wives" production by PAE, Falstaff (Dan Shaw) was supposed to utter his first line just off-stage and enter with his mouth full of apple*.

After the first few lines of the scene there was longish pause while we awaited his entrance. Finally he trotted in face flush and rough-voiced, his lines rushed on the run.

As it turns out, he had inhaled the chunck of apple and needed Bardolph to give him the Heimlich before he could enter.

*a real one, and no, nobody switched it with a fake back stage.