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Auckland school investigated after Sweeney Todd accident

A high school in Auckland is being investigated by the police and Worksafe New Zealand after two students were injured by a razor blade during a production of Sweeney Todd: The demon barber of Fleet Street.



The students of Saint Kentigern College were in the middle of a performance of the hit musical on Wednesday, which features a murderous barber using a blade to slit throats, when the prop razor was found to be real.

Two boys were rushed to hospital, one with serious injuries, and the audience was none the wiser that the blood they saw was real and not fake. The show was not called off, despite the injuries.

An audience member told Fairfax news: “No announcements were made to the audience that the throat slitting was not all just fake blood. The show went on, we never knew anything about the real blood being spilt until later.

“It is terribly sad what has happened. It’s a great show and I’d hate to see anything bad overshadow the quality of the show.”

As for the school, headmaster Steve Cole said every precaution had been taken to make the blades safe, from blunting them to wrapping them in cling film, and was baffled as to how this could have happened.

He said: “It’s normal for Sweeney Todd to have such an instrument [and it] clearly had been checked many, many times.

“It has been bound and cellophaned and all sorts of things. It had been blunted and had been through all sorts of health and safety checks. It was a very unfortunate mistake.”

The boys have since been released from hospital. The performance the next night was called off.