Actor Blinded During Accident in Donmar Warehouse's Passion Files Lawsuit
By Mark Shenton
David Birrell, who played Colonel Ricci in the Donmar Warehouse's 2010 production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Passion, is suing the theatre after losing the sight in his right eye and suffering permanent disfigurement when a replica gun backfired in mid-performance.
The replica Colt 1851 Navy revolver shot debris into Birrell's eye, and he was immediately taken to the hospital.
According to a report in The Guardian, the actor is now seeking £250,000 in damages from Donmar Warehouse Projects Ltd. to recompense for the effect on his career and personal life.
In documents lodged with the High Court, Birrell's barrister Stephen Friday said that his client's "blind, shrunken and unsightly" right eye has been replaced by a prosthetic eye, which "looks as if it is staring (and) looks sunken in appearance."
The Donmar Warehouse admits liability but is reported to question the extent and severity of the injury and its effects. It also denies negligence, and is seeking a contribution to the damages from the prop makers History in the Making Ltd., which it claims supplied the replica gun that misfired. Lawyers for the prop maker have replied stating that "the guns supplied had been competently serviced and cleaned prior to supply."
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