Ac­tor helps the­atre­goer

Manawatu Standard - - Front Page - Greer Berry

The quick-think­ing ac­tions of a Ly­cra-clad ac­tor who no­ticed an un­re­spon­sive the­atre­goer in the front of an au­di­ence has at­tracted praise from oth­ers at­tend­ing the show.

Kiwi ac­tor Mark Had­low was 10 min­utes away from fin­ish­ing his one-man MAMIL show at Palmer­ston North’s Cen­tre­point Theatre on Satur­day night when he jumped off stage as he re­alised awoman was slumped in her seat.

Had­low said he saw the woman was not re­spond­ing to the per­son next to her so he rushed over to at­tempt to rouse her.

‘‘It was re­ally freaky,’’ he said.

‘‘But there­was no panic ... It is a re­al­ity and in amo­ment’s no­tice, ev­ery­thing can change.’’

A doc­tor in the au­di­ence came for­ward and helped the­woman while staff alerted emer­gency ser­vices.

Whanganui man Scott Tay­lor Moore was at the show and said Had­low, who has acted in films such as King Kong and The Hob­bit, had just de­liv­ered a line di­rected to­wards the front of the stage when he no­ticed the woman slumped over.

‘‘He jumped down and said: ‘Can we get the lights up?’’’ he said.

Tay­lor Moore said Had­low’s ac­tions were seam­less, calm and showed care to­wards his

au­di­ence. ‘‘He was cer­tainly think­ing a lot more about a per­son’s welfare than his tire­less ef­fort on stage,’’ he said.

‘‘The pri­or­ity was given to the right per­son at the right time.’’

The au­di­ence filed out of the theatre to the pave­ment to al­low for emer­gency ser­vices to tend to the woman, and Had­low fol­lowed and man­aged to keep the crowd en­ter­tained with daily life mus­ings.

‘‘Col­lec­tively, the peo­ple that were man­ag­ing things were re­ally calm and mat­ter of fact and po­lite,’’ Tay­lor Moore said. ‘‘We came back in and he took it back from al­most the ex­act place where he had been.

‘‘The show must go on and so it did.

‘‘Had­low and crew re­ceiv­ing a well-earned stand­ing ova­tion for both the sub­lime per­for­mance and also their col­lec­tive con­cern and com­pe­tence.’’

The con­di­tion of the woman was not known, how­ever, Tay­lor Moore said the woman walked to a wait­ing am­bu­lance at the time.

Cen­tre­point gen­eral man­ager Kate Louise El­liott said ac­tors were al­ways aware of their sur­round­ings as part of what they did on stage.

‘‘This is live theatre. Any­thing can hap­pen,’’ she said.

‘‘Our au­di­ence’s safety and hap­pi­ness is our first pri­or­ity. We do our best to en­sure our team are pre­pared and our pro­ce­dures are up to date to be able to deal with most sce­nar­ios off stage and well as on.’’

MAMIL, which stands for ‘‘Mid­dle aged male in Ly­cra’’, has been run­ning at Cen­tre­point since Novem­ber 9 and con­tin­ues un­til December 14.

The show fol­lows a man’s ad­ven­ture as he trans­forms from a stressed prop­erty de­vel­oper to a health-con­scious road war­rior.

MUR­RAY WIL­SON/STUFF

Ac­tor Mark Had­low said there was no panic over a med­i­cal emer­gency dur­ing his show at Cen­tre­point Theatre.

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