An Italian actor has been declared brain dead after strangling himself when a hanging scene in a play went badly wrong. Raphael Schumacher was appearing in Mirages, described as an experimental six-scene immersive theatrical experience, which is staged in different parts of the theatre with the audience walking between them.
Taking place at the Teatro Lux, in Pisa, one scene involved Schumacher ‘hanging’ himself in the courtyard of the theatre, with a noose suspended from a fig tree However, another actor in the cast told press that the box Schumacher was supposed to stand on had been moved, and that the actor performed the stunt without wearing a safety harness.
“The noose should have been fake and a harness should have caught him if he fell,” the actor said. “I cannot explain how an incident like this happened.”
The stunt had been performed successfully earlier that evening, so there was no reason to suggest things might have been otherwise. However, a medical graduate in the audience noticed that Schumacher, who was wearing a mask for the scene, was shaking as he hung, and he knew something had gone badly wrong.
The police sealed off the theatre to begin an investigation, and though the incident appeared to have been accidental, there are suggestions that Schumacher intended for the stunt to fail, after it emerged that he changed the death scene from a fake gunshot to the hanging instead.
“The original monologue included a fake gunshot but he eventually decided for the hanging – without telling us,” director Gabriele De Luca told press. “We are shocked. No one, not even us, understands how this could have happened and it will be up to the police to shed light on it.”
Schumacher’s mother has vehemently revoked any suggestion that the incident could have been intentional, pointing out that her sin didn’t leave a note and had no reason to want to kill himself.
Via Daily Mail