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View Full Version : Actor slits his own throat when stage knife switched


Blue Velvet
Dec 11, 2008, 07:59 AM
An actor slit his throat on stage when the prop knife for his suicide scene turned out to be a real one.

Daniel Hoevels, 30, slumped over with blood pouring from his neck while the audience broke into applause at the "special effect". Police are investigating whether the knife was a mistake or a murder plot. They are questioning the rest of the cast, and backstage hands with access to props; they will also carry out DNA tests.

Things went wrong at Vienna's Burgtheater as Hoevels' character went to "kill himself" in the final scene of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart, about Mary Queen of Scots, on Saturday night

It was only when he did not get up to take a bow that anyone realised something had gone wrong.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/11/actor-slits-throat

He survived though... you just know that Detective Columbo would be all over this.

themoonisdown09
Dec 11, 2008, 08:02 AM
Ouch... I'm glad he survived. He could have been another Brandon Lee.

yoppie
Dec 11, 2008, 08:13 AM
Wow. I hope they catch the person who switched the knives.

rdowns
Dec 11, 2008, 08:14 AM
The understudy, backstage with the knife.

iShater
Dec 11, 2008, 08:17 AM
Umm... wouldn't you like check a prop or feel that it is a real knife before slitting your own throat ... even for theater? :confused:

Blue Velvet
Dec 11, 2008, 08:17 AM
The understudy, backstage with the knife.

Or Professor Plum in the Dining Room... with the knife. ;)

Melrose
Dec 11, 2008, 09:48 AM
Or Professor Plum in the Dining Room... with the knife. ;)

I was gonna go with candlestick.. that would be nasty wound. :eek:

Seriously - even if it was a live audience I'd sure check it first before running it over my jugular.

xUKHCx
Dec 11, 2008, 10:09 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/11/actor-slits-throat

He survived though... you just know that Detective Columbo would be all over this.

Wasn't there something similar in Columbo about the masked magician and the fake bullet being real? or was that diagnosis murder. I gets confused with all the day time telly, they just seem to roll into each other.

Raid
Dec 11, 2008, 10:56 AM
...now that's method acting! :eek:

Seriously I'm glad the guy is ok, damn I bet he's pissed at the prop master!

themoonisdown09
Dec 11, 2008, 10:59 AM
Wasn't there something similar in Columbo about the masked magician and the fake bullet being real? or was that diagnosis murder. I gets confused with all the day time telly, they just seem to roll into each other.

I think your confusing Columbo with a movie called The Crow. :D

PlaceofDis
Dec 11, 2008, 11:00 AM
wow. glad hes okay at least. creepy.

synth3tik
Dec 11, 2008, 11:03 AM
Wow that is totally a plot from a classic film noir.

question fear
Dec 11, 2008, 11:05 AM
Umm... wouldn't you like check a prop or feel that it is a real knife before slitting your own throat ... even for theater? :confused:

Eh, if it's one of those things where the prop is set out and you have to just grab it for the scene, there might not be time to run your finger along the edge. Also, why would the actor even assume someone would replace the prop knife with a real one? Assuming no one threatened him in any way, it's a pretty big logic leap to assume someone might try to slit your throat by swapping out a knife.

Burgess07
Dec 11, 2008, 11:45 AM
Reminds me of a Psych episode (http://www.usanetwork.com/series/psych/theshow/episodeguide/episodes/s2_homicidio/index.html).

arkitect
Dec 11, 2008, 11:49 AM
Midsomer Murders anyone?

Death of a Hollow Man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_a_Hollow_Man)

Not that I'm a fan or anything… just remember it from a repeat the other day on ITV. :o

RedTomato
Dec 11, 2008, 11:51 AM
Blimey.

I work in theatre, and we were talking about this in the office today.

Theatre can be dangerous - my partner had her nose broken by a prop tree in one production, and fell off a stage that wasn't constructed properly in another production, knocking herself unconscious. (she got a payout from Equity)

At first, we thought the play used a real knife for some scenes, then switched for a dummy for the suicide scene. Probably no stage manager in the UK would allow that - the risk of a mistake is just too high.

But from the Guardian article, it seems that the play used a dummy knife all the way through, and someone switched it for a real knife. Hence the police investigation.

I could just about see it as a prank that went wrong - I've seen actors play pranks like swapping stage water for vodka, gluing porno images into menus that are supposed to be browsed on-stage, etc, but this...?

Kudos to him for coming back on the following evening with a cut throat. Brave man.

Sun Baked
Dec 12, 2008, 02:19 PM
Wasn't there something similar in Columbo about the masked magician and the fake bullet being real? or was that diagnosis murder. I gets confused with all the day time telly, they just seem to roll into each other.

Or could have been on Quincy

bradl
Dec 12, 2008, 02:24 PM
Where's Jessica Fletcher when you need her?

Better yet, Ozzy said it best:

Who can we get on the case?
We need Perry Mason
Someone to put you in place
Calling Perry Mason

BL.

Thomas Veil
Dec 12, 2008, 03:38 PM
Wasn't there something similar in Columbo about the masked magician and the fake bullet being real? or was that diagnosis murder. I gets confused with all the day time telly, they just seem to roll into each other.Oh, it's been done numerous times, on Columbo, Ellery Queen, et. al. It's practically a staple of the drawing room murder mystery genre.

Never thought I'd see it happen for real, though. It's almost funny in a macabre sort of way.

Blue Velvet
Dec 12, 2008, 03:51 PM
Ellery Queen

Heh, now there's a name and a show I thought I had forgotten. :)

joepunk
Dec 12, 2008, 07:03 PM
I was just watching an episode of Midsummer Murders a few days ago.

Surely
Dec 12, 2008, 07:05 PM
That's crazy. :eek:

Methinks this will be an upcoming episode of Law & Order.....

JNB
Dec 12, 2008, 07:21 PM
Don't forget the final episode of Oz.

Gray-Wolf
Dec 12, 2008, 07:38 PM
Ouch... I'm glad he survived. He could have been another Brandon Lee.

Or Jon Eric Hexum :(

GSMiller
Dec 13, 2008, 05:55 AM
That's some CSI $#!+ right there.

Les Kern
Dec 13, 2008, 08:56 AM
Or could have been on Quincy

Just give me TWENTY FOUR HOURS chief, just 24. I'll find your killer.

Queso
Dec 13, 2008, 09:02 AM
Where's Jessica Fletcher when you need her?
Hopefully in prison for all those murders she pinned on others over the years.

I'm still amazed that woman ever got invited anywhere after the first few deaths :D

Melrose
Dec 13, 2008, 11:57 AM
Just give me TWENTY FOUR HOURS chief, just 24. I'll find your killer.

I can't stand Quincy. That guy is so irritating. Rockford is way cooler.

BlackSnow
Dec 13, 2008, 02:48 PM
Wow, he couldn't tell it was real. But it's good he still alive.

Thomas Veil
Dec 13, 2008, 03:35 PM
Heh, now there's a name and a show I thought I had forgotten. :)I always thought it was too bad that Murder She Wrote went several seasons and this show died an early death. I found this one more inventive...particularly the part where Ellery Queen would turn to the camera and challenge the audience to figure out the crime before he did. It was a corny gimmick, but wonderfully fun.

MistaBungle
Dec 13, 2008, 05:15 PM
Makes me think of the video game Hitman. I think it's the latest one where you go to a play and the leading role is your target. There is a scene with guns and you switch a fake gun for a fully loaded one. Kaboom.

joepunk
Dec 13, 2008, 08:02 PM
That's some CSI $#!+ right there.

CSI? Pffffft :p

I say Da Vinci's Inquest with Nicholas Campbell leading the investigation instead.

sushi
Dec 13, 2008, 08:07 PM
I would think that he would be able to tell the difference between a real knife and the stage (stunt) one.

Glad he's okay.

It seems to be more than just an accident.

Chip NoVaMac
Dec 13, 2008, 09:52 PM
I see an L&O out of this story....

Glad the guy is ok though...