Actor's realistic scream causes neighbours to call 999
3:30pm Sunday 26th August 2012 in News
An actor's piercing scream was so convincing neighbours called police fearing she was being attacked.
But when officers entered the building they found themselves walking into a rehearsal scene from Battersea Theatre503 play Life for Beginners.
Zara Tempest-Walters, who is playing troubled teenager Eva in the play, was practising the screamin the former BBC studio in Marylebone High Street, West London, last Wednesday.
Police officers arrived within minutes of the call at about 1.30pm, much to the performers amusement.
Hot weather meant all of the building's windows were left open, which meant people walking past could hear the scream.
A chauffeur parked outside the building refused to get out of his car because he was so scared something horrific was taking place inside.
Miss Tempest-Walters, who starred in Ricky Gervais comedy Life's Too Short, said: "Obviously it was quite a surprise when the police arrived, but I suppose it's good to know it was convincing.
"To reassure local residents, we'll be moving future rehearsals of the scene to a room with better soundproofing."
Tim Roseman, co-artistic director: "While much of the play is quite light and joyful, the storyline Zara was working on, written by Matt Hartley, gets very intense and emotional.
"She does an excellent job of channelling the character's anger and fear. It's certainly the first and I very much hope the last time that emergency services have been called to my rehearsal room.
"But now that I know she could be heard from outside, I'm not surprised people were concerned."
Life For Beginners is being staged in Battersea Theatre503, in The Latchmere, Battersea Park Road, from September 4 to 29.
The play also stars Dr Who actor Jacqueline King, Never Let Me Go star Kate Sissons and The Bill actor Mark Wingett.