An actor who claims he was injured while rehearsing an opera at the Royal College of Music’s London theatre is suing the institution, blaming a lack of safety provisions at the venue.
The London college is facing court action from amateur actor Arthur Cahill, who claims he was left with spinal injuries and chronic pain after he fell backwards from a 4ft platform at the 400-seat theatre while practising a fight scene.
Cahill was rehearsing with the London Armenian Opera company for a production of David Bek in December 2015 when the incident occurred at the college’s Britten Theatre, which had been hired by the company for its show.
The actor claims that he was also forced to seek therapy for psychological trauma following the events.
He is pursuing £25,500 damages against the college, a trustee of the London Armenian Opera and the stage manager working on the day of the incident. It is expected that the legal fight will cost up to £100,000.
It has been reported that at a Central London county court hearing, Cahill claimed the college was in breach of health and safety at work regulations because “no rails or safety barrier had been installed” on the platform, and that it failed to carry out a risk assessment for a scene involving stage fighting.
All defendants deny liability for Cahill’s fall.
The Royal College of Music’s lawyers have argued that the London Armenian Opera was responsible for health and safety at the time of the incident as part of the terms and conditions of its hire, however the company contended that it “had no effective control” of the space.
It also insisted that a fight scene was not being staged on the platform.
The case will progress to a civil trial at a later date.