Saturday 18 November 2017

The show goes on despite 'Hamlet' injury

Hamlet actor Conor Madden (right) in a stage sword fight with Aonghus Og McAnally
Hamlet actor Conor Madden (right) in a stage sword fight with Aonghus Og McAnally
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

IT was 'Hamlet' but without the prince -- or, at least, without the original one.

But the show resumed last night despite the actor playing the title role of the Danish prince narrowly avoiding losing his eye in an accident during a sword fight on Monday night.

Cut, bruised and groggy, Conor Madden (24) is now making "a good recovery" after a freak accident on Monday in Cork's Everyman Palace Theatre -- and plans to return to the stage for tonight's performance.

Marty Rea stepped in at short notice to take the role. Fittingly enough, Rea won an Irish Theatre Award for his performance as the troubled Dane.

Madden -- who plays Hamlet in the Second Age Theatre production -- was duelling with Aonghus Og McAnally, who plays Laertes, when he was accidentally struck in the face with a round-tip sword.

The blade sliced open the flesh underneath his eye socket and the actor collapsed on the stage.

Initially, some in the audience thought the facial injury to Hamlet and the actor's moans were part of the production.

The play was stopped immediately and Madden was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital, where he received several stitches. He was later discharged.

Friends yesterday said he was sore but "in good form and looking forward to getting back on stage".

Second Age director Alan Stanford said: "Accidents can happen but they (the actors) have been rehearsing and performing these fight scenes for eight weeks or so without any incident." The fight scene was carefully choreographed, given its skill and complexity, he said.

After finishing its Cork run on Friday, the production will tour Galway and Dublin.

Irish Independent

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