On the site of the old Bedlam hospital, where crowds once gathered to mock inhabitants, rose a Masonic tabernacle, home to clandestine gatherings and arcane rituals. Fallen into disuse, walled up and derelict, the Grecian Masonic Temple at Liverpool Street lay bereft and forgotten for decades. This summer A Curious Invitation and the East End Film Festival will return to the marbled splendour of the City’s only original Freemasons’ lodge for a macabre night of cabaret, circus and cinema. Buy your ticket now!
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s SANTA SANGRE:
The evening will begin with a special screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s eerie surreal horror masterpiece “Santa Sangre” in the Temple. The film follows the odyssey of Fenix, boy magician of the Circo del Gringo, who has been confined to a mental institution since he witnessed the mutilation of his mother and the suicide of his father. Escaping the asylum he is reunited with his armless mother, the one time leader of the sacrilegious church of the Holy Blood, and together they embark on a gruesome trail of murder and retribution. Jodorowsky’s magic realist Oedipal fantasy has been described as “a Buñuel remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho”.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and most beguiling secret societies. Its rituals and allegorical imagery date back to Egyptian mysticism and the Biblical construction of the Temple of Solomon. With its initiation ceremonies, secret handshakes and oaths of allegiance it has attracted such famous figures as Mozart, George Washington and Harry Houdini. Its offshoots have included occult organisations like The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which included Aleister Crowley among its members.
The Grecian Masonic Temple on Liverpool Street was built in 1912 by Charles Barry Jr, the son of the architect who designed the Houses of Parliament.
THE HALL OF THE GRAND ARTIFICER
Step into this opulent chamber of marble and gilt adorned with brazen lanterns and a pair of stately mahogany thrones to be regaled by:
HEAVY METAL PETE: sword swallower, whip cracker, sideshow performer, pyrotechnical artiste – never a stranger to danger.
COCO DEVILLE: fierce, playful neo-burlesque superstar. A mercurial minx, a teasing tiger. She moves with feline grace, but has a sting in her tail.
NATHAN & ISIS: acrobatic duo who stretch balance, poise, agility and trust to their limits with their gravity- and logic-defying stunts.
THE CRYSTAL CHAMBER
Six storeys of glass atrium will be filled by CHIVAREE CIRCUS with aerialists, acrobats, stilt walkers, and other high-flying, death-defying artistes, including:
BECKY & TYRONE: denizens of the aerial realm will soar above your heads holding audiences and each other in spectacular suspense.
And earth-bound far below them will lurk TIM MAYNARD’s magnificent menagerie of snakes, scorpions, lizards and insects.
THE LOST WORD CABARET
Our compere beyond compare, BENJAMIN LOUCHE, the disreputable and aberrant Lynchean linchpin of the evening, will introduce:
MARNIE SCARLETT – deviant Diva, fire fetishist and couturier, writhing in her latest creation: a strait jacket.
LOLO BROW – Neo-Burlesque artist, sideshow performer, sparkly drag King and Lizard Lady
SNAKE FERVOUR – fire wielding, sword swallowing, snake charming, angle grinding, stilt walking, sideshow stunting.
CARMEN MON OXIDE – a pneumatic amazon who sings a pitch perfect aria while stomping on broken glass
BISHI – Anglo-Indian singer, pianist and sitarist will take to the decks to mix Eastern and Western avant-garde sounds.
THE DARK ARTS DRAWING ROOM
The origins of divination using Tarot cards lie in Masonic sects of the eighteenth century. ART MACABRE will delve into this veiled history of the occult and invite you to sketch a tableau celebrating the iconic imagery of the arcana of Wands, Cups, Swords and Coins.
THE PLEASURE GARDEN
Here amid our garden of living golden statues with its gently tinkling fountain Maestro TROYLUS SEARLL will preside over a serene evening of courtly elegance.
TIME ZONE THEATRE will present Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart i Salieri – an operatic tale of envy and revenge, depicting the demise of eminent Mason Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the hands of his embittered rival Antonio Salieri; while the singers of the INTERNATIONAL RAMEAU ENSEMBLE will serenade you with exquisite arias from the French Baroque, to the accompaniment of the harpsichord, flute and viola da gamba.
Tickets from http://www.