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Actor isolates burst radiator pipe backstage mid-scene to help the show go on

The show must go on – the flow must not

James El-Sharaway with the infamous radiator
© Barn Theatre

Picture the scene last week – the Barn Theatre's production of Around the World in 80 Days was in full swing on its gala night in Cirencester with 20 minutes left to go.

Then, suddenly, a radiator pipe backstage started leaking out water – with the show's crew forced to try whatever means necessary to stem the flow of water coming through into the auditorium. The problem arose, according to the venue, after a cast member collided with the radiator while pushing a trolly off-stage.

Meanwhile performer James El-Sharaway, who plays Passepartout and a variety of other roles in the show, decided to take emergency action before it became more 80 Sprays rather than 80 Days.

El-Sharaway, who was a builder in a previous professional life, hopped off stage mid-scene and continued to deliver his lines to the other two cast members while in the wings.

All the while, he successfully proceeded to isolate the radiator pipe – without missing a single beat from the script. Once the situation was resolved, he returned to the stage alongside co-stars Adam Elliot and Evangeline Dickson as if nothing had gone wrong.

Around the World in 80 Days continues until 11 March, with the piece adapted by Toby Hulse and directed by Joseph O'Malley.

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