You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Breaking a leg, dying on stage - acting is not for the faint-hearted.
Just ask Phil Vaughan. The Dunedin actor was back on the boards at the Fortune Theatre last night, despite sporting a nasty gash, the result of some extreme misfortune on Monday night.
About 15 minutes before the end of the comedy Boeing Boeing, Mr Vaughan and actor Tom Trevella started a fight scene.
''But I slipped on a drink that had been spilt earlier in the play and went flying headfirst into the door.
''I put my hand to my head and I could feel it wasn't good. There was blood gushing everywhere. We'd gone from a sexy French farce in Paris to Nightmare on Stuart Street,'' Mr Vaughan recalled yesterday.
''Fortunately, Tom had a hanky in his suit jacket pocket, so I pulled that out and put it on my head. But there was an awkward, deathly silence there for a while.
''The audience went very quiet. There was an uncertainty; is this part of the show?
''Then I looked at [actor] Elena [Stejko] and she'd gone white and had tears in her eyes.''
Mr Vaughan gamely finished the play and a waiting ambulance then transported him to Dunedin Hospital, where he received 11 stitches to his 15cm wound.
The veteran actor, who has also appeared in many films, including Lord of the Rings and King Kong, said it was the worst accident he had had since getting 18 stitches when hit on the head with a discus as a 13-year-old.
Fortune Theatre staff managed to find some comedy in the drama yesterday.
''We found out later that there were four doctors in the audience, which could have been handy,'' Fortune artistic director Lara Macgregor said.
Boeing Boeing is on at the Fortune Theatre until December 14.