Thanks, Cate!

It is very rare that Australian theatre makes international news, but this past week it has made international headlines. Entertainment shows made such a big deal about Cate Blanchet being injured on stage, turning the story sensational. But for any of us in theatre we know that injury in theatre is common. I’m sure Cate finds it all a little silly the attention this small incident has received, and I’m sure as an experienced theatre performer this is not the first injury she has sustained.

It is very rare that Australian theatre makes international news, but this past week it has made international headlines. Entertainment shows made such a big deal about Cate Blanchet being injured on stage, turning the story sensational. But for any of us in theatre we know that injury in theatre is common. I’m sure Cate finds it all a little silly the attention this small incident has received, and I’m sure as an experienced theatre performer this is not the first injury she has sustained.

But this little affair has made me start to think about theatre injuries I’ve received or seen. Not many people know that I actually have a pacemaker. It doesn’t effect my day to day life, but if it is hit hard enough in a certain place it goes off. So for a small amount of time I have double the heart beat. Was only ever a problem while performing Beyond the Door and I had a fight scene with Geoff Barker. Probably never a good idea to have a fight with a former Gladiator (Commando), but during our choregraphed routine he actually hit my pacemaker. Luckily intermission was only a few minutes away and I was able to quickly retreat backstage. Never made the news though.

In my other shows other actors have sustained all manor of injuries, never good to see blood on stage. Had an actress during one show somehow fall through a floorboard in the opening blackout and had to spend the entire first act with blood dripping down her leg and through her stockings.

I put the call out on Facebook for stories of injuries, and everyone seems to have one. And even today my set designer sustained a Bunnings related injury and was bleeding though the aisles. Lots of grazes, breaks, twists and plenty of bruised egos from the submitted stories. The worst story consisted of someone using the wrong knife on stage and a finger being lost. Now if that happened to Cate, that would be reason for international headlines.

But anyone who thinks that only sports players sustain injuries should do a season of a play. Sometimes you hope the least you get is a bruise, or a radio to the head.

2 thoughts on “Thanks, Cate!

  • One knee recon down…actually 2.During one production. Different producers, Same venue…no press..or insurance.
    The only press we receive generally is bad..for being unreliable. Fair enough. I did say I could walk when I took the job.
    x

    Reply
    • Erin James

      Bulging disc, dislocated shoulder, fractured ribs, cuts and bruises, suspected fractured neck (upper), pulled hamstring, sprained ankles, concussion… all in music theatre. There are always risks when we throw our bodies around and trust our surroundings and our workmates…

      Reply

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