Doofus Of The Day #898

This report truly boggles my mind.

AN investigation is underway after two students at an exclusive school were hospitalised when a production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street became all too real.

The students from Auckland’s St Kentigern College were taken to hospital suffering neck wounds after the performance turned horribly wrong.

. . .

The play, set in Victorian London, contains scenes where the characters sitting in a barber’s chair have their throats slit with a cutthroat razor.

They are then dispatched through a trapdoor to be cut up into filling for meat pies.

There’s more at the link.  A tip o’ the hat to Australian reader Snoggeramus for sending me the link.

Would somebody please tell me why nobody thought to make sure that the ‘stage’ razors really were fakes, and in particular WEREN’T SHARPENED???

Ye Gods and little fishes . . .



  1. Oh my… *ouch*! That's a special kind of stupid, really. Even for college students, that demonstrates an impressive lack if foresight/common sense. Whew…

  2. Stupid can be found world wide not just in America. Today's students, young people, teachers, administrators, business bosses are chock full of stupid. There is no getting around that fact.


  3. Mr. Ramirez,

    supposing there _was_ a weapons master. I have friends in small [cinema] production companies, several of them went through the equivalent to a master's degree in cinema. ONE of them (one who became a teacher at their major) finally discovered such a thing _existed_, intrigued because he'd had to shot (sorry, pun accidental) people with rifles. And the law enforcement agency that supervises guns was of no help at all.

    Take care.

  4. In my high school production of "Stalag 17", I as the "SS Captain" had to beat another actor with a riding crop as part of an interrogation. In rehearsal I was "pulling" the blows too visibly for the satisfaction of the director, a priest. He demonstrated the correct technique by hitting the other actor so hard he went over backward in his chair and through the cardboard flat behind him.

    St. Kentigern sounds like a good Catholic school name, I guess now I know where Fr. Lanphier ended up.

  5. A number of magicians who performed the 'bullet catch' trick were killed. Guess this (effort at realism) stupidity is as old as time…


  6. All too typical — a prop is needed in a low budget production, someone says "oh, I have one of those at home, I'll bring it in", and not a further care is taken.

  7. Wait… more than one person received neck wounds? How does that work? Two Sweeney Todds, no waiting? Or one after the other?

  8. This was the production? What happened during rehearsal? No rehearsal? Rubber razors? This wasn't simple stupidity, this was massive, planned, coordinated stupidity.

  9. Anon,

    way, way too many people can't see a difference between "respect" and "fear". And so it begins.

    Take care

  10. Sitting here shaking my head. Like everyone else has observed, that takes a special kind of stupid on everyone involved part.

    And, thinking about the gyrations the director of my daughter's high school theater troupe had to go through to put on To Kill A Mockingbird, so as to not 'offend' anybody, because there are no 'persons of color' in the entire school district to play the black characters. Or the 'gun' used to kill the rabid dog. It was a toy rifle with the orange tip. You should have heard the roars of laughter cause those ranchers and farmers knew exactly what it takes to put down a rabid animal.

  11. While Hanlon's razor (sorry) may well apply here ("Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.") it's suspicious because the injuries happened during a performance. This suggests that throats were NOT cut during rehearsals. So perhaps someone replaced the prop razors with a sharp razor?

    1. I wouldn't be surprised if some idjit (mayhap the prop master?) watched the rehearsal, thought the fakes were too obvious, and found some nice shiny "replacement" "fakes" to solve the problem. All the while failing (among other things) to note that the new "props" were *actual fricking razors*! No, not shocked at all. Darwin Award contestants, the lot of them. Jesus wept.

  12. "It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so." – Will Rogers
    Assumptions (this is a fake razor because we are in a play) are very dangerous. Maybe the twits at some colleges that banned even realistic-looking swords from Shakespeare productions were acknowledging stupidity as much as political correctness.

  13. Even more interesting is that New Zealand has only this month implemented a new Heath and Safety act.

    The principal of the school may well be liable for prosecution under this new parliamentary act.

    We here down under in Godzone, were just as staggered if not amused by this nonsense.

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