Broken pelvis relocates theatre rehearsals to Bega hospital ward

BREAK A LEG: Theatre Onset actors Robert Buck, John Fitzmaurice and Jamie Forbes reherse their lines in SERH's surgical ward under the eye of director David Stocker.
BREAK A LEG: Theatre Onset actors Robert Buck, John Fitzmaurice and Jamie Forbes reherse their lines in SERH's surgical ward under the eye of director David Stocker.

Robert Buck has taken the theatre idiom “break a leg” to a new level by landing himself in hospital with a broken pelvis during the rehearsal stages of an upcoming performance. 

The actor, a member of Bega’s amateur performance collective Theatre Onset, broke his pelvis while building a wall at his home which he then fell from.

After attempting to brush the injury off as “just a bruise” to his wife, Mr Buck has spent the last five weeks in hospital.

However, the injury was not enough for Mr Buck to forgo his role in an adaption of the classic American tale, Of Mice and Men.

Other cast members have since relocated their rehearsals to his room on South East Regional Hospital’s surgical ward.

“It takes a hell of a lot to stop me, as they say, the show must go on,” Mr Buck said. 

“I think I’ll actually be in better condition than the rest of the cast come opening night, because at least I’ve had a good rest.”

Theatre Onset's Of Mice and Men cast rehearse in SERH's surgical ward.

Director David Stocker and cast members Jamie Forbes and John Fitzmaurice sat by Mr Buck’s hospital bed on Tuesday, February 13 to run over their lines. 

Mr Buck is playing the character Candy in the upcoming performance, a fitting role considering they now both suffer from physical ailments. 

“My character only has one hand and I’ve got an injury of my own, so I suppose you could call it an extreme form of method acting,” Mr Buck said. 

Mr Stocker commended Mr Buck’s commitment to the play and said the similarities between actor and character would make it easy to adapt the pelvis injury into the performance if it doesn’t heal in time. 

“I could prop him up on a barley sack or put him in a hammock, I was even thinking about using an old wheelbarrow as a wheelchair to move him around the stage,” Mr Stocker said. 

But Mr Buck is confident he will recover and be stage ready by opening night in May. 

It is not the first injury that has plagued Mr Buck before taking to the stage, a number of years ago he literally broke his leg ahead of a performance in Eden. 

“It was a bit of a challenge to get to the venue, but I’ve done it once so I’ll do it again,” he said.

The opening night of Theatre Onset’s Of Mice and Men adaption will be Friday, May 11 at 7:30pm at Funhouse Studio in Bega.