Actor ‘fine’ after ‘explosion’ involving hairspray on stage at Theatre Royal Brighton (From The Argus)
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Actor ‘fine’ after ‘explosion’ involving hairspray on stage at Theatre Royal Brighton
An actor rushed from the stage during a major theatre production after apparently suffering a facial injury following an “explosion”.
Richard Grieve suffered the injury during the closing minutes of a matinee performance of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Theatre Royal Brighton on Sunday.
The incident forced the 43-year former Home and Away, Neighbours and Emmerdale star out of the rest of the show and caused an 11-minute delay in proceedings.
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However, in the true showbusiness spirit that the show must go on, understudy Wayne Fitzsimmons stepped in to complete the show.
Fortunately, Mr Grieve suffered no serious injuries and is expected to resume his role as Bernadette when the show returns to the 19th century theatre in New Road, Brighton, tonight.
Theatregoers described how they heard a small explosion followed by the actor rushing off stage.
It is believed the small explosion came from an overheated hairspray can.
Graham Rhodes, 52, from Patcham, was sitting in the stalls with his wife Julie, 54.
He said: “Despite the delay it was a really good show.
“The fact that he didn’t come out for the curtain call seemed to suggest it was relatively serious.”
Shona Campbell, 41, from Grove Street in Brighton, said the incident happened as Mr Grieve had his back to the audience facing into a mirrored closet.
She said: “There was a popping noise and what looked like a cloud of gas or glitter came out of the closet into the actor’s face.
“I could see liquid trickling out the closet onto the floor.
“He then exited off the stage with a hand over his face – it wasn’t immediately clear that it wasn’t part of the show.”
She added: “The whole show was fantastic and the issue was dealt with really professionally.”
A spokesman for David Ian Productions said: “As a precaution, Richard left the stage to be checked over and in order for the show to continue as quickly as possible our understudy performed the role for the last two scenes.
“Richard is absolutely fine and sustained no injuries at all.
“He will be performing the role of Bernadette when the show has its next performance.”
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