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Aleister Crowley: A Passion for Evil
20 March 2016
Starts: 17:00

Highland actor and writer, John Burns, is reviving his Edinburgh Fringe play about mountaineer, poet, and black magician Aleister Crowley. Crowley, who once lived on the shores of Loch Ness at Boleskine, has become an iconic figure amongst followers of the occult and esoteric religions.

Aleister Crowley: A Passion for Evil

Sunday March 20th* 2016 - 5pm (show is approx one hour)

Cost £8 / £5

*March 20. The Feast of the Supreme Ritual, which celebrates the Invocation of Horus, the ritual performed by Crowley on this date in 1904 that inaugurated the New Aeon.

*March 20. The Equinox of the Gods, which is commonly referred to as the Thelemic New Year (although some celebrate the New Year on April 8). Although the equinox and the Invocation of Horus often fall on the same day, they are often treated as two different events.

A dark play about the life of Victorian occultist, author and mountaineer.  The play contains dark humour and material that some people may find offensive.

Black magician Aleister Crowley faces a stark choice, will he live the rest of his life in obscurity or perform his last great ritual, summoning to the stage the Egyptian god Horus. An unforgettable ritual but one that will cost him his life.

A dark story that explores the life of one of the most controversial men of the twentieth century. John Burns gives a chilling performance as a man driven to despair as greatness slips from his grasp.

Forced to earn a living touring as a magician Crowley is backstage struggling with his demons.

Born a devout Christian, Crowley turned against his faith following the death of his father, and plunged into an uncompromising search for the truth. He explored many religions and eventually found solace in Magick, his own interpretation of the religion of the ancient Egyptians.

Crowley’s quest took him across the world, as a mountaineer he made one of the first attempts on Kanchenjunga. He became a notable, a novelist and a master of the occult writing many great works. His explorations of the workings of his own mind, his experimentation with drugs and his sexual excesses earned him the title of “The Wickedest Man in the World”.

Crowley is a man who remains surrounded by mystery, in this one man play John Burns delves beneath the myth to reach the real man who many still know simply as The Beast. Burns takes us on a journey as Crowley relives the pivotal moments in his life. The style of the play reflects the different aspects of Crowley’s life; at times it is poetic, sometimes funny, frequently irreverent but always dramatic and powerful.

Highland actor and writer, John Burns, is reviving his Edinburgh Fringe play about mountaineer, poet, and black magician Aleister Crowley. Crowley, who once lived on the shores of Loch Ness at Boleskine, has become an iconic figure amongst followers of the occult and esoteric religions.

 

Burns’ play is an exploration of his life and follows Crowley’s journey from a devout Christian to one of the most controversial men of the twentieth century. A prolific writer Crowely wrote volumes of poetry, many texts on the occult and novels. As a historic figure he had slipped into obscurity until he was featured staring out of the cover of the Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This led to his rediscovery by a whole generation and Crowley’s famous dictum “Do what thou will, shall be the whole of the law” struck a chord with the flower children of the sixties who were seeking freedom from the constraints of the past. Crowley now is more famous in death than he ever was in life with thousands of followers across the world.

His status as a mountaineer has been overlooked. His lifestyle and refusal to conform to accepted norms of behaviour led him to be ostracised by the mountaineering establishment and his achievements were largely ignored. Instead lurid tales prevail of him threatening fellow climbers with a revolver and breaking a Sherpa’s’ leg with an ice axe to prevent him fleeing the mountain.

Crowley began his climbing career as a teenager on the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head where is pioneered a number of routes. He quickly progressed and spent much time in what was then the cradle of British mountaineering, Wasdale Head. There he met many leading climbers, including Collie and the Abraham brothers, but it was Oscar Eckenstein who was to become his mentor and climbing partner on many of his expeditions. Eckenstein was twenty years his senior and already a Himalayan veteran when he met Crowely. Eckenstein was a notable mountaineer and is credited with the development of “balance climbing,” which was the birth of modern climbing technique. He also designed an early type of crampon. He and Crowely were amongst the earliest proponents of bouldering as a way of developing climbing technique. Crowley, a member of the Scottish Mountaineering club, went on to climb extensively in the Alps, Mexico and the Himalaya’s. Burns has produced an series of audio podcasts giving a flavour of the play and more on Crowley’s life as a mountaineer.

John Burns’ play takes an honest look at the life of man who became known as “the wickedest man in the world.”

Web links

Listen here to preview http://aleister-crowley.podomatic.com
Check out the show website http://thebeastreturns.com
Preview on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLioSRfqTQ4

 

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