Mad Hatter Sued After Audience Member Was Injured in Wonderland

Don't fall on an audience member, they might sue. Photo credit David Lassman / The Post-Standard

Lookingglass Alice is an experimental-theater version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  It features acrobatic circus choreography somewhat similar to the dramatic stunts in Cirque du Soleil.

The characters in Lookingglass Alice are known to literally fly through the air.   “Breaking down the traditional boundaries between audience and actor is a cornerstone of experimental theater, and in this production you may end up sitting on the stage . . . . If you sit in the aisles or in the front row, you might entertain an errant actor on your lap.”  It sounds awesome.

But apparently one audience member did not enjoy the show, and is now suing over one of the stunts.  As reported at this link

. . . Christina Paxton alleges an errant actor — who plays the part of the Mad Hatter, no less — injured her during a performance of “Lookingglass Alice” at the Actors Theatre of Louisville on Sept. 9, 2009.

Actor Samuel Taylor “climbed onto the seat that the Plaintiff was seated in and balanced his knee on her head as part of the play, causing the Plaintiff to be injured in and about her body,” she says in a complaint . . . .

And now she is suing for “emotional harm, physical injury, mental pain and suffering, loss of health, extreme and excruciating pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of ability to work and earn income, and other damages . . .”  Good g-d.  What happened to her?  Well, its anyone’s guess because she doesn’t bother to articulate a single injury.

Come on.  This is experimental theater.  The actors often pull audience members into the show.  Leo Weekly, the alternative Louisville newspaper where plaintiff lives, even says as much in its review.

Here’s the deal, if you go to a show like this, you have to assume the risk.  You should not be able to go to a show that includes audience participation in circus stunts, then sue for minor injuries and/or embarrassment sustained at the show.  This case will likely settle before a judge can give his or her opinion on the law in these type of cases.

Disclaimer:  Siouxsie is totally biased.  Siouxsie, not surprising, is a big Alice in Wonderland fan.  She’s even attending a Mad Hatter birthday party for her mum this year.  Yay!

Tiny Top Hat Tip:  Matthew S.

Bonus Video:


~ by siouxsielaw on September 11, 2010.

One Response to “Mad Hatter Sued After Audience Member Was Injured in Wonderland”

  1. I liked this post. Agreed. If you go to a show like this, you shouldn’t sue just because you had some interaction with an acrobat.

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