The Temptation of St. Anthony

ASCUS is supporting The Mechanical Animal Corporation’s production of The Temptation of St. Anthony and associated Spirituality and Mental Health panel discussion at this year’s Edinburgh Festival.


The Mechanical Animal Corporation presents
with support from Wellcome Trust, British Council Egypt & Arts Council England

The Temptation of St. Anthony is inspired by the ancient legend of a man who spent 35 years in solitude in the Egyptian desert. This Wellcome Trust-supported ensemble performance explores, through song and body, landscapes where mental health and religious experience collide.

How to treat a religiously-orientated mental illness? This is a problem faced today by psychiatrists in treating patients who believe they are possessed by spirits. Is there a limit to what Western medicine can heal, when faced with a dark night of the soul? With insight from psychiatry and anthropology, this show plunges soul-first into the human experience of spirit possession.

The Mechanical Animal Corporation is a Bristol-based company, led by director Tom Bailey (Nightwalk, Bristol Mayfest / National Trust; Death & The Ploughman, Tobacco Factory Theatres). Egypt-based research into St. Anthony was conducted in residence with El Warsha theatre company, Cairo, supported by The British Council Egypt and Arts Council England.

13 – 30 August 2015  (except 24 August)
9.15pm (60 min)
Summerhall (Venue 26) Demonstration Room
Tickets £12/£8 | 0131 650 1581 | 0131 226 0000 | @MechAnimalCo | #StAnthonyShow

A Panel Talk exploring the show’s themes with views from the creative team and psychiatrist Dr. Hugh Grant-Peterkin, will take place on Monday 17 August, 3.30pm, at Summerhall.
Tickets are £3 and can be purchased from Summerhall Box Office (see more details below)

The Temptation of St. Anthony and the Spirituality and Mental Health Panel Discussion are both part of The Sick of the Fringe


Spirituality and Mental Health

A Panel Discussion

The Mechanical Animal Corporation’s production of The Temptation of St. Anthony is a Wellcome-Trust supported project exploring ‘spirit possession’ – an area where mental health and religious experience overlap.

This panel discussion – featuring insight from Psychiatry, the Medical Humanities, and members of the creative team – explores themes raised by the show, and wider issues around the role of spiritual-based healing in modern medicine.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Venue: Cairns Lecture Theatre at Summerhall
17th August 2015, 15.30 (60 mins)
Tickets: £3.00

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