The Royal Shakespeare Company is under investigation by health and safety officers after three technicians were injured – one seriously – during a set change.
The accident happened at the RSC’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford when a plastic perspex sheet about 30ft tall topped over and landed on the crew. The most severely injured – stage supervisor Roger Haymes who is in his late 50s – suffered a fractured skull and had to be airlifted to University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. He was released yesterday.
Another two technicians were also taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Stratford District Council’s senior environmental health officer is investigating the accident which happened on Monday morning.
A spokesman for the authority said: "The environmental health officer is looking into this and until they have reported back we can’t make any comment."
The RSC’s Courtyard Theatre is a temporary playhouse which was put up in a year while The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is being rebuilt.
Jane Ellis, communications manager for the RSC, said: "The accident happened when we were doing a change of sets. It was A Midsummer Night’s Dream being removed and The Merchant of Venice being set up.
"It was a perspex sheet, they are about 30ft tall and there are a number of them that stretch across the back of the stage to create an illusion of a mirror so it looks like the audience is wrapped around the whole theatre. It buckled and fell down."
Ms Ellis said changing sets could be dangerous work. "With the nature of what we do there is always an element of risk. As a matter of course these things are always investigated. We will take on any recommendations they make. Health and safety is our prime concern."
The new Royal Shakespeare Theatre is scheduled to reopen in 2010.