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Mishaps You've Seen


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#1 Coggit

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 12:54 PM

Stealing this from another forum, but I actually found it to be an interesting read, so thought I'd make it here too.

Here are a few I've seen:

Phantom of the Opera, Essen: During the final lair, when the Phantom picks up the candle to burn through the lasso there is a slight spark. When Thomas Borchert picked up the candle the candle went off pretty close to his face when he was lifting it up. He jumped a little and pushed the candle away from him, but actually, he did extremely well considering - I probably would of had a heart attack on stage.

Wicked, B'way: We had the u/s Elphaba and they didn't change the safety belt for her, so in Defying Gravity, she just came out and pretended to cast a spell on everyone and everyone just froze, paralyzed. Thought it actually worked pretty well.

La Cage aux Folles, Playhouse: I can't remember song names or characters, but during a song in which John Barrowman and his partner (Albin and Georges, I believe?) were dancing together, both actors begin laughing hysterically on stage. Like, seriously hysterically.


So, what have you seen? :D
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[UK Tour] The Phantom of the Opera*****, Rocky Horror Show***, Hairspray****, The 39 Steps**, The Mousetrap***, Starlight Express****, Rocky Horror Show****

#2 jaqs

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 01:51 PM

My fave was at hairspray when the Turnblad room didnt come on, and so Michael ball shouts 'In a minute' from offstage.

#3 Matthew Winn

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 01:54 PM

I've seen many, many, many mishaps, from the stuck bridge at the start of Fame with the crew frantically trying to free it up and get it into place before anyone actually needed it (they succeeded, just) to the time in Chicago when John Barrowman whacked me in the nads with his cane. But one of my favourite stories is from a show where I was in the crew, and it's the story of the confetti cannon.

Fortunately for everyone it happened during a rehearsal. We never did find out for certain exactly what went wrong, but I strongly suspect the problem was that the supplier worked in metres and the stage manager worked exclusively in feet and measured the theatre accordingly. What we do know is that what was supposed to be a gentle shower of confetti over the cast became a paper projectile of doom. I was in the theatre kitchen/prop-store at the time, and when I'd recovered from the explosion I ran on stage to find everyone stunned into immobility. Those nearest the cannon were pebble-dashed with coloured paper. Part of the cardboard disc that had supported the confetti above the pyro was recovered from the middle of the stalls; the rest had been destroyed. And for many months afterwards anyone standing on the stage could look up and see occasional bits of confetti twinkling in the lights as they freed themselves from the girders and ducts in which they'd been wedged.

We decided not to use the confetti cannon again.
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#4 maggiem

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:02 PM

A couple of weeks ago there was a slight boo boo at the National during Othello. Part of the set should have risen straight up into the fly tower but got stuck just a few feet up.

Cast dressed as soldiers had to exit the stage and it took about 2 minutes to sort it out and get the thing moving.

#5 poster J

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 05:02 PM

One time when I was at Wicked, at the start of No Good Deed the lift under the stage that's supposed to bring Elphaba and the Grimmerie onstage didn't work, and I think it caught everyone out - I was sitting front row and could hear Rachel Tucker asking 'what do I do now?' (and employing some choice language when she realised it had broken, but thankfully her microphone was off!) and then her being told to get to stage level and run on from the side instead, carrying the book.  The orchestra kept playing, so by the time she got round to the stage she had to start the song mid-verse, but she found her place very quickly and was a real pro - it turned into one of the best renditions of that song I've ever heard!

#6 John_Rebus

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:13 PM

View Postposter J, on 18 July 2013 - 05:02 PM, said:

One time when I was at Wicked, at the start of No Good Deed the lift under the stage that's supposed to bring Elphaba and the Grimmerie onstage didn't work, and I think it caught everyone out[...]

Something quite similar happened to former Broadway Elphaba Nicole Parker:
Edit: The time marking didn't work... just jump to 3:38 (or watch the complete interview, it's definitely worth watching...

'My' mishaps so far:

Wicked: Glinda's bubble got stuck (at least once with her standing in it) a couple of times. As did the statue in Dancing through Life and Elphaba's mother's bed. They always interrupted the show and started the respective song new. Haven't had a no fly show so far.

Rock of Ages: The toilet plunger in 'Nothin but a good time' slid through Simon Lipkin's Lonny's hand and accidentally hit an audience member.
When he picks a female audience member sitting in the front row to flirt with after the first song, it turned out that he had chosen a young girl sitting next to her parents (what he only realised when he had already started). He stopped instantly and said something like "thats awkward - you looked much older from back there" and did some child-friendly ad-libs which were quite funny. In the second act, he gave her a magic penny, which she had to put under her pillow this night and in the morning it'd be a tenner (or otherwise her parents wouldn't love her).

Legally Blonde: When Margot asked Bruiser where Elle was in the first scene, Bruiser did not bark back, so the usual 'she's in the old valley mill - mall' did not work. In another show, Bruiser just ran from one end of the stage to the other and did not wait for Margot to talk to him.
"Some People are Worth Melting For." - Olaf, Snowman

#7 TR252

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:42 PM

The first time I saw Wicked in 2010, Glinda's bubble didn't come down during NOMTW. The curtain went down and we waited for about 10-15 minutes before they continued.

#8 Epicoene

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:12 AM

This old guy saw one of the most famous theatrical mishaps of all time:     

#9 isabel

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:22 AM

Seen quite a few in WWRY, Mazz Murray's final show. Also that time when the boiler exploded backstage & entire theatre was evacuated.

#10 EmiCardiff

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:28 AM

In Othello a few weeks back at the NT Rory Kinnear slipped during a scene in a bathroom and hit the (working) sink. The pipe bellow started to spurt water everywhere, for a while he struggled to get it back on (soaking himself in the process) he kept thinking he'd done it, letting go and it spurted water again. Eventually it stopped, the audience now giggling he turned and deadpanned 'Should have taken that plumbing course' after a big laugh he launched back into the scene. Poor Adrian Lester 'hidden' in the toilet emerged to find a puddle on the floor and Rory looking like he'd had an 'accident' he had to go for several scenes before he could change his trousers too.
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