It seems we may soon have a contender for that Scottish play which shall not be named. During last night’s performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (aka that Spider play) a rope holding up one of the actors playing Spider-Man snapped and the actor fell several feet into the pit. This was at a moment when the actor was supposed to be diving at the stage, so the audience seemed unaware until the actress playing Mary Jane started screaming for someone to call 911. More than one actor plays Spider-Man during the performance so the mask did its job concealing the identity of the battered aerialist.
The incident occurred during a climactic scene where Spider-Man dives off a platform to rescue MJ. Someone in the audience shot a video as it happened but the house lights black out almost instantly so there’s little information to be gleaned from viewing it. However, I’m including an image snagged from that video by the New York Times which seems to show the moment where it all went wrong. The audience was told there’d be a delay in the show, then told that the show was over as ambulances arrived on the scene.
Having already been plagued with injuries, the show’s official release is being pushed back a month so changes can be made. Is it possible that a live theater experience involving such a high-action web-swinger is unfeasible? Stage actors don’t have the benefit of CG. If I’ve done the math right, I was actually at the climbing gym when this happened and I can understand the difficulty and tension that can arise from trusting one’s body to a rope with a fancy knot tied to a harness. It’s tough to imagine complicating that with more intense fast-paced maneuvers that are attempting regularly by the Turn Off The Dark crew.
I’m sure we all wish the actor, tentatively identified via Twitter as Christopher Tierney, a speedy recovery. As for the show? I’m conflicted. If everything kept going well I’d probably wouldn’t go see it. However, with all these problems it’s almost becoming too good to pass up. Obviously I don’t want to see anyone get hurt but if these stunts are so risky that people are getting injured regardless of all the safety prep maybe the show really is something to behold. What about you, iFanbase? Were you excited by the musical but turned off by the threat of injury? Will you simply buy your tickets for a few rows back so you’re don’t wind up with an actor in your lap? Let’s hear it in the comments!
UPDATE – Fellow staff writer Matt Addler found some follow up stating that Federal workplace safety officials will unsurprisingly be continuing their ongoing investigation concerning the performances safety. Furthermore, the Actors' Equity union is trying to stop future performances until backup safety measures are installed.