Author Topic: SCENERY: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"  (Read 12275 times)

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hbelden

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I read in the NY Times today that an actor was severely injured in the leg during a matinee of "Lord of the Rings".  I hope that the actor, Adam Salter, will be able to return to the stage.  The producers closed the show for two days and may change the machinery.

Does anyone have more information about the accident, or how it's being addressed?

Has anyone been part of a show where a severe accident like this occurred?

I ask these questions because the news story struck my sympathy; and out of fear that it could happen on one of my shows.  I don't mean to belittle the accident or poke fun at it in any way.
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:47 am by PSMKay »
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BalletPSM

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #1 on: Jun 01, 2007, 01:22 am »
I did hear about this -- what an awful situation to be in!  I don't know much  more about it than what you stated in your post.  If anyone can supply more details (as hbeldon noted) that would be great.

To anyone involved -- our thoughts and sympathies are with you and your cast, from all of SMNetwork.

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smsam

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #2 on: Jun 02, 2007, 04:43 am »
To be honest not much is known at all! There have been several news reports but they all contain the same basic information.

It looks like the actor in question got his leg stuck in part of the automation, most probably a lift of some sort (although that's just speculation), and cried out/ was screaming. At first audiences reported they thought it was part of the show but then, and this I find the most chilling part, he started screaming "my leg, my leg" and the audience realized was wrong. From that point forward there was a standard show stop (blamed on 'technical reasons') and the audience were sent home.

We're unlikely to get any more detailed/ real information because everyone on the show (like most west-end shows) will have singed a confidentiality agreement within their contract so they are not at liberty to explain. As for the adjustments before it reopens again today, I would imagine they would be more adjustments to blocking, e-stop systems/ procedures etc. rather than physical change to the automation systems and design but again that's just speculation.

Sam x

PS - It had been reported (can't remember where) that the actor in question didn't even break his leg so luckily he should make a speedy recovery. x
Sam x

Mac Calder

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #3 on: Jun 02, 2007, 09:30 am »
I would think that as well as any blocking changes, the guards of some form would be put into place - either cloth skirting or something more ridged arround the mechanisms involved.

Unfortunate that someone was injured, however it is just one more incident to add to the pile that highlights just how dangerous a theatre can be.

KMC

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #4 on: Jun 02, 2007, 09:52 am »
I would think that as well as any blocking changes, the guards of some form would be put into place - either cloth skirting or something more ridged arround the mechanisms involved.

Mac this is the first thing I thought as well.  Every piece of automated scenery I've worked with (stage lifts, floor tracks, orchestra pit, fly system) has had a protective skirting around it if any moving parts were potentially exposed to performers.  Not only for safety, but also because seeing the "guts" of a stage lift at 7ft off the deck can be rather distracting to an audience. 

Also I'm surprised they didn't have some kind of safe edges, basically a pressure sensitive strip around the edge of the lift.  If it senses pressure from say, a human leg, the safe edge trips and the drive for that lift shuts down automatically.  You will end up with a nice bruise, but nothing more.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

nmno

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #5 on: Jun 02, 2007, 12:57 pm »
From the playbill.com article:

"...During the closure the show's creative team modified the staging following an accident during the May 30 performance in which actor Adam Salter was injured...."


hbelden

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #6 on: Jun 02, 2007, 03:19 pm »
It never occurred to me that there would be a confidentiality agreement that the company had made.  It makes sense.  Thanks, Sam.
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smsam

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #7 on: Jun 02, 2007, 07:57 pm »
I know several people working on current West-End shows and all of them have confidentiality-clauses within their contract, so I would be pretty sure that LOTR staff has similar items in their contracts. Even if they didn't you would be one unpopular crew member if you came onto a public internet forum or went to the newspapers and shared exactly what had gone wrong, why and whos fault it was!

x
Sam x

ben.bavington

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #8 on: Jun 06, 2007, 07:08 pm »
The last show I did, a large, heavy pay-phone on a pole fell tipped on top of an actors foot. He seriously bruised a few muscles in his foot and just barely avoided permanent damage.

Psychedelictheatre

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #9 on: Jun 07, 2007, 01:13 pm »
There are rumours that his leg was caught either in part of the rotating stage or a lift/trap. However nothing is definite, and we will most likely not find out.

There's an investigation going on at the moment, to try and find the cause so that it can be sorted.

And yeah, the actor involved hasn't broken his leg, that's all we know. Nothing more has been disclosed.

McShell

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #10 on: Jun 09, 2007, 05:39 pm »
I'm not saying that's the case in LOTR, but I wouldn't be suprised if they're more common than we think.  When we're talking big bucks, possible permanent disability, possible lawsuits, people's reputations... It just adds up.  Nobody wants anyone's, individual or company's name tarnished or a big hoopla out of nothing if it is nothing.  We just haven't heard about them because they're confidential, and are probably staying that way.  All I'm saying is I wouldn't be surprised.

smsam

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #11 on: Jun 09, 2007, 05:48 pm »
Quote
I just have to say that being "pretty sure" is not the same as being sure.
But in the same vain it's still not a "rumor". I'm not quite sure of the point your trying to make here.

I think probably another point to consider is that the people who do know the specifics of what happened, either through working on the show or having friends on the show, are VERY unlikely to share that information here, on a public internet forum which anyone can read.

x
Sam x

MatthewShiner

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #12 on: Jun 10, 2007, 12:45 am »
Are we speaking about condientiality clauses . . .

Yes, I have known shows to have these clauses, but in all cases I know about it was because of specific "magic" effects in the shows.  (I think for example the Ragtime magic trick at the top of Act 2 had a clause attached.)

I think in general, as an middle-management, it's best to keep you mouth shut in cases like this.  Especially if you might be involved in the suit.  (The only time I was involved in a law suit as a stage manager, I was informed by my lawyer NOT to discuss anything until I was actually questioned by lawyers - since I could have been part of the "party at fault" - in the end, the case was settled out of court).

Also, you get into a point where this is now this person's medical condition which by it's very nature is confidential. 
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

cuelight

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #13 on: Jun 10, 2007, 06:17 am »
Mac, they do have guards on the tracks. It's a slightly raised bit of stage (it looks like a strip of rubber from the audience) and when an actor steps onto one a loud thunderclap goes off as a warning.

I would also like to state that the above knowledge is simply from having watched the show. I have no contacts on the production at all. Although I have heard that they didn't get past their 1st LXQ on first preview before having to stop the show, but that is just speculation.

JennaFen

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Re: Hydraulic Scenery accident, London "Lord of the Rings"
« Reply #14 on: Aug 22, 2007, 11:55 am »
I am a theatre stuedent in Toronto where LOTR was originally staged. We were lucky enough to have a breif tour and a TONNE of promo material was published about the stage before opening. As far as the automated lifts and revolve on the stage, all mechanical moving parts were coverd in something like chain mail and the edges had rubber stoppers to prevent actors and crew from getting stuck. There were a number of "technical difficulties" that arose in our previews and led to a LOT of tweaking, but no real news ofserious injury, as here in Canada, Mirvish (the company that put up LOTR here) also makes the artists sign agreements - just part of the corporate theatre world here. We also had to agree NOT to discuss things we overheard, or to take ANY photographs or recording.

That an injury would occurr is horrible, and I send out my sympathy to those involved.

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