Last Saturday evening, actor Daniel Hoevels nearly killed himself live on an Austrian stage when his dull-edged prop knife was replaced with an all too sharp one.
Hoevels, appearing at Vienna's Burgtheater in Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart, was portraying a character trying to commit suicide when he accidentally slashed his throat with the very real blade. The audience reportedly was unaware that the blood wasn't fake until the final curtain call. By then, Hoevels had been taken to the hospital where he was stitched up. However, one doctor said, "If Hoevels had hit an artery or cut only slightly deeper, he would have died on stage."
Speculation ran rampant that police were investigating whether this incident was intentional. No wonder the above scanned German-language headline from the Austrian newspaper Osterreich translates to "Real Drama at the Burgtheatre."
But before you can say, "Where's Angela Lansbury when you need her?" Time magazine notes that Hoevels is quite the trouper, having returned to the stage the very next day for a final performance of the play. Hoevels is now in Hamburg performing in Goethe's Die Leiden Des Jungen Werthers (The Sorrows Of Young Werther). Time's Adam Smith notes wryly:
In that play, the long-suffering title character winds up shooting himself in
the head. Someone might want to double-check the gun.
Here's wishing Herr Hoevels a speedy recovery.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).