Actress playing Juliet falls from balcony

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The Independent Culture

A production of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's tragedy of star-crossed lovers, ended abruptly at a Worcestershire theatre when the actress playing Juliet fell off the balcony during the play's most famous scene, it emerged yesterday.

Laura Rees was so engrossed in her role at the Malvern Theatre on Friday night that she leaned out a little too far and tumbled eight feet down on to the stage, the English Touring Theatre's spokesman Drew Colverd said.

She suffered bruising and minor injuries that needed hospital treatment, and wounded pride. The remainder of that evening's performance was cancelled and Ms Rees will need a week to recover before resuming her role in Oxford.

How Ms Rees came to fall off the balcony is unclear, but an inspection of the set had not disclosed any faults, Mr Colverd said. "It seems that Laura was simply acting her socks off. She was so engrossed in the part, and just leant out a bit too far and she fell about eight feet.

"She is absolutely fine and a little bit embarrassed, but thankfully she only had a few bruises. Fortunately we have a natural break now of around a week and a half before we move on to Oxford for the next stage of the tour.

"It is very unfortunate that we had to cancel, but we are not the sort of company that employs understudies and there is no way we would expect Laura to carry on after what happened."

Mr Colverd added that the set had undergone full safety checks before it was assembled, and also following the incident last night, but no faults were discovered and there were no plans to modify it.