updated 12/11/2008 12:04:12 PM ET 2008-12-11T17:04:12

An actor's suicide scene became a little too real for comfort when he accidentally stabbed himself in the neck during a performance at an Austrian theater.

Daniel Hovels — of the Thalia Theater company from Hamburg, Germany — was supposed to be using a knife blunted for use onstage, but the knife had been replaced with one left sharp.

Thalia said Thursday that the original prop knife was damaged and that instructions to blunt the replacement had been "carelessly" disregarded. It did not specify who it thought might be responsible.

Hoevels received stitches for his injury at a hospital and was back on stage at Vienna's prestigious Burgtheater the following day.

Austrian police said they were investigating the incident.

Hoevels was playing the role of Mortimer in Friedrich Schiller's "Maria Stuart."

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