Theatre hanging: Actor Raphael Schumacher 'changed scene to involve rope instead of gun'

Police originally explored the possibility of suicide but are now looking into whether the theatre was negligent in its safety standards

Theatre actor Raphael Schumacher’s condition is deteriorating, it has been reported, after he was injured in a hanging scene gone wrong during a play performed in front of an audience.

According to Pisa Today, the 27-year-old is not currently responding to treatment.

Il Tirreno has reported that the actor changed the ending of the scene to involve a death by hanging rather than gunshot, without informing others.

It was initially thought that the police were looking into the possibility that the incident was an attempted suicide, but Pisa Today says that investigators are now satisfied that it was an accident.

"My son recently lost his father and had ended a relationship but had found his serenity again,” his mother said. “He didn't leave a suicide note and had no reason to kill himself."

Schumacher was appearing in Mirages at the Teatro Lux in Pisa when the incident took place, the reality of what was happening not setting in until a medical student in the audience sensed that something was wrong.

They rushed to help the actor, who was wearing a bag over his head, lowering him to the ground.

Police will now look into whether the theatre is guilty of negligence with regards to safety standards.

One report claimed that a box Schumacher was supposed to stand on had been moved.

“The noose should have been fake and a harness should have caught him if he fell,” one actor said. “I cannot explain how an incident like this happened."

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