A magician’s performance got out of hand over the weekend, and the man was rushed to hospital directly from the stage after accidentally getting an arrow lodged in his head.
Entertainer Li Lau, who performs under the pseudonym e "One Crazy China" suffered the mishap while showing off his trademark self-designed escape stunt, assisted by companion Brendon Peel, at the 2019 National Arts Festival in Makhanda, South Africa.
According to the Daily Dispatch, a local Eastern Cape newspaper, the audience was asked to leave the venue after the arrow struck the entertainer’s head, adding that he later received stitches. Chief Organiser Tony Lankester later told the media that those who needed trauma counselling after witnessing the accident would be by all means assisted.
However, Li Lau’s co-star Brendon Peel is certain the story had been purposefully exaggerated, and defended himself against local media claims that he should be held responsible for the illusion show spiralling out of hand.
"There was a crossbow involved but we structured the illusion so that it is impossible to be truly fatal," he said. "Also, it was not me who created the effect, it is Li Lau who devised it, I merely assist in the illusion,” he pointed out, continuing to address media claims that he himself was responsible.
“The media has painted it out as if I physically shot the thing at him. I won't go in detail how Li's escape works, which he designed, but at the end of the day it is a trick," he noted, stressing that the viewers "loved the show."
Lau also issued a statement confirming he is safe and sound following “the minor mishap” and stressing that Peel is in no way responsible. He apologised for the scare caused among the public, asserting they were being “overly cautious to ensure I was okay” and that all of the shows will continue, as scheduled.
"I want to thank everyone who came through to the show and for your support. We just had a little minor incident this afternoon, but I am all well. We just took precautionary measures. We would never put ourselves in harm or at potential risk. I am 100 percent. The show is going to go on," Lau, who describes himself as a "bizarre magician," told his worried fans in a brief video update.