The Evening Standard reports: ‘An actor is suing a London theatre company after he was shot in the eye and blinded during an on-stage duel.
David Birrell lost the sight in his right eye and suffered permanent disfigurement when his replica gun backfired.
He wants £250,000 compensation from Donmar Warehouse Projects Ltd, claiming the “cosmetic disability” has blighted his career and personal life.
In documents lodged at the High Court, Mr Birrell’s barrister Stephen Friday said the accident, during a production of the Stephen Sondheim play Passion at the Donmar Warehouse theatre in Covent Gardenin October 2010, left the award-winning actor, 46, with a “blind, shrunken and unsightly” right eye, forcing him to wear “a cosmetic shell” to disguise its appearance.
Mr Friday added that Mr Birrell, from Nunhead, is “at a disadvantage on the labour market as a result of both his functional and cosmetic disability”.
The theatre company has admitted liability, guaranteeing Mr Birrell will receive a payout, but denies negligence and is seeking a contribution to the damages from prop makers History in the Making Ltd, which it says supplied the gun.
Lawyers for History in the Making state that “the guns supplied had been competently serviced and cleaned prior to supply.” ‘