What a showman! Teenage actor continues with broken arm and is back on stage two days later with arm in plaster

Charlie Gillett broke his arm during a performance of Grease. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.

Charlie Gillett broke his arm during a performance of Grease. Picture: MIKE ROUSE. - Credit: Archant

WHEN youngsters performing in Grease told each other to ‘break a leg’ before the show, they didn’t mean one member of the cast to take things quite so literally.

Viva production of Grease. Pictures: MIKE ROUSE

Viva production of Grease. Pictures: MIKE ROUSE - Credit: Archant

But in the middle of Thursday’s performance by Soham based Viva Youth, 16-year-old Charlie Gillett fell backward and broke his arm - but then bravely carried on with the rest of the show.

Viva production of Grease. Pictures: MIKE ROUSE

Viva production of Grease. Pictures: MIKE ROUSE - Credit: Archant

He underwent surgery the next morning, but the plucky youngster was back on stage on Saturday, singing and dancing with his arm in a sling.

Viva project administrator Hetti Wood said: “The accident happened during the Born to Hand Jive scene, when Charlie fell backwards on his arm. The audience thought it was part of the act, but in the interval he was screaming in pain.

“But he carried on with the rest of the show, and I later got a phone call to say he had broken his arm and needed surgery.”


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Director Michael Kowakzyk took over Charlie’s part as T-Bird Roger on Friday, but by Saturday Charlie was back on stage for both the matinee and evening performances.

Hetti said: “Michael did really well, learning the lines and dances, and Charlie’s partner, Zara Minns did an astounding job. The partner she had rehearsed with for months disappeared, and she had to act and dance with the director.

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“Some parts of the show had to change because of the accident, but everyone came together as a team. The whole cast of 11-16 year olds did a really professional job. They didn’t bat an eyelid, but just got on with it. There was never any thought of cancelling the show.”

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