Acting is getting to be a dangerous business. The opening of the Shakespeare Globe (with Two Gentlemen of Verona) was threatened when one of the leading players fell and broke an arm, while a recent Don Pasquale had to be halted when the hero twirled one of the chorus too vigorously, and she crashed into the proscenium arch breaking a wrist. A recent production of Becket also had to be temporarily abandoned when the actor playing Thomas fell during a blackout into the orchestra pit shattering a kneecap, and during an early preview of Miss Saigon, the helicopter fell onto the set.
Health and safety regulations backstage have now been tightened, but the drama program at this year's Edinburgh Festival was decimated when the Canadian Robert lePage brought a set for his new Elsinore so complex that it could not be built at all, and the entire production had to be canceled. Perhaps it's time to stop treating theatre like some mechanical playground and get back to basics.