It has been a long-running tradition to wish stage performers to “break a leg,” but seldom does it actually happen.
Actress Aicha Kossoko caught her heal in some loose bedding on stage, toppling over and fracturing her ankle in a performance this week. The accident occurred during Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. It was the first play to open in the recently remodeled Royal Shakespeare Theatre, which underwent$177 million in renovations.
Aicha caught her shoe on an enormous bedspread, which was being used as part of the scenery in director Lucy Bailey’s ambitious attempt to convert the stage into a giant bed (which was the theme of the play). Aicha fell over, twisted and snapped her ankle. Bailey is well known on the theatrical circuit for her eccentric interpretations of Shakespeare’s plays, by bold stage design which speaks to the audience in a more physical way than just the dialogue of the actors.
“She was very brave, and managed to carry on,” an RSC spokesperson said.
The director’s actions spoke louder than words when during a pre-show director’s talk she put her head in her hands saying it was a “horrendous” experience.
Aicha’s place in the production the next evening was taken by replacement Laura Wells, and more permanently by Janet Fullerlove who flew over from Italy, while stage hands worked to secure the bedding responsible for the accident.