Two Students Had Necks Cut When ‘Sweeney Todd’ Play Got a Bit Real
Two students were injured when a high school production got too real on April 6 in Auckland, New Zealand.
The widely-known play, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” depicts the story of a London barber serial killer who slits his clients’ throats with a razor and then gives the bodies to his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, to make meat pies. The musical was also adapted into a 2007 Hollywood film by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp.
A prop razor that was used in a throat-cutting scene in the high school play actually ended up cutting two students’ necks.
They were taken to a hospital and stayed overnight. They were released the next day. The boys, both 16, were in stable condition.
Steve Cole, the head of Saint Kentigern College, where the incident happened, told TVNZ the razor was covered “in all sorts of duct tape and foam and silver paper.”
He said the prop had been checked and that he’s not sure what went wrong, adding that the scene had been rehearsed many times before the show.
“It was a razor that you would expect to see in a production of Sweeney Todd. But it didn’t have a sharp edge. I’m very confident that the health and safety situation was strong,” he said.
“It was an unfortunate isolated incident.”
According to the New Zealand Herald the show will be discontinued until further notice. The police are investigating the incident.
“It’s not a criminal inquiry. In this instance the play is not the reality,” said a police official.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.