Play suspended after actor gets shot

Last Updated: Oct 04, 2010, 19:07 PM IST

London: A ‘West End’ musical has been suspended after an actor was shot in the face by accident during an on-stage duel while performing in Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Passion’.

The incident occurred during a matinee performance of the show, and actor David Birrell, 35, who plays Colonel Ricci in the musical, was rushed from the Donmar Warehouse theatre to hospital with a serious eye injury.

Birrell was taking part in a scene in which his character challenges another to a duel, when there was a fault with the gun, which was meant to fire blanks.

London Ambulance Service was called to the scene and Birrell was then taken to University College Hospital.

Those who witnessed the incident say they saw the actor being carried to an ambulance “looking shaken” and with his right eye bandaged following the show.

A Donmar spokesman confirmed the actor had suffered an eye injury but said they were still looking into what happened.

“During the matinee performance of ‘Passion’ on Saturday David Birrell sustained an injury to his eye for which he is currently being treated in hospital,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

“Our priorities are to David’s well being and recovery; and to theatregoers who have purchased tickets for performances in the coming days,” he stated.

ANI