Eidolon @ IAB2016

Exciting news – Eidolon will be performed at the Clinical Skills Assessment Centre, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh on Wed 15th June 2016, as part of the International Congress on Biomedical Ethics 2016.

The performance will only be available to conference delegates and places are limited so sign up early!




Eidolon @Edinburgh Art Festival

Eidolon will be presented at the Edinburgh Art Festival 2016, as part of Edinburgh College of Art’s partner events programme. A dual screen video installation version of the work will be installed within Edinburgh College of Art from 12-21 August and a series of live performances, featuring Freya Jeffs, Pauline Goldsmith and Stanley Pattison, will be presented at the Clinical Skills and Assessment Centre, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh on 20-21 August (times TBC).


Beverley Hood – Eidolon 2016. Photography ®Lindsay Perth

Look out for further info in coming weeks at http://edinburghartfestival.com/whats-on

Dramaturgy – Jeremy Weller

Last week we had a very productive few days working on the Eidolon project with writer/director Jeremy Weller. Jeremy came in to advise us as a dramaturg (i.e. he was telling us what works, doesn’t work and helping us to give then piece an overall shape and focus).

Simulation in progress

Simulation in progress

Simulation in progress

Simulation in progress

On Monday morning we did a run of the performance in progress for Jeremy and Babs McCool, Charitable Arts and Wellbeing Coordinator, at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital, who has seen a number of incarnations of the work so far. The afternoon was spent gathering their feedback, both through the de-brief session and subsequent discussion. Tuesday, we did script run through’s and mini-workshop tasks in an attempt to bring more emotional depth to the text and performance.







On wed, we went back through the text reviewing changes and applied similar workshop techniques to the dance sequence material, again mining for deeper emotions. Really productive days, with much interesting discussion that helped refocused the performance group, and also threw in some interesting cheeky developments, including the use of interchangeable genitals and fright wigs!





Eidolon – reworking

So we’ve been back at the Simulation Centre, re-working the material we developed for the showing in the summer (big thanks to the audience that came along and your feedback – we were listening!). We’re mostly working with the same material but re-organising it, inserting material into the middle of other sequences, etc. Generally taking apart what we’ve already done and putting it it together in a totally different order…and having a lot of fun with that!

ManiChat2 - working on the script

ManiChat – working on the script


ManiDance - reworking

ManiDance – reworking “The Preparation”

Performance in progress – Fri 3 July Dec 1.45 – 4.15pm

You are invited to the following event:



Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Friday, July 3, 2015 from 1:45 PM to 4:15 PM (BST)Scottish Centre for Simulation & Clinical Human Factors
Royal Forth Valley Royal Hospital
Stirling Road
FK5 4WR Larbert
United KingdomView Map


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This free event is an in-progress showing of Eidolon, an immersive performance exploring the relationship between the body and technology, at the Scottish Centre for Simulation & Clinical Human Factors (SCSCHF), Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert. SCSCHF  is a state-of-the-art professional training facility,undertaking simulation based medical education.  This event will introduce the audience…

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We hope you can make it!
Beverley Hood

The first performance!

So on 15th December 2014, we presented the first version of the Eidolon project as an intimate performance at the Scottish Centre for Simulation and Clinical Human Factors (SCSC), at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert. A huge thanks goes to the staff at SCSC, the performers and all the audience members who participated.

The performance ran from 2.00-4.30, and after a short introductory briefing in Training Room 1, the audience was split into two groups, who we then set off to have slightly difference experiences and versions of the performance. Group 1 were the first to get into scrubs and while waiting for the simulation to begin they were told the story of L’Inconnue de la Seine and Resusci Anne.

Eidolon - performance plan

Eidolon – performance plan


L’Inconnue de la Seine

Meanwhile, Group 2, who were still in Training Room 1, watched on-screen a live scripted dialogue “Manichat” between a medic/technician (the actor Stanley Pattison) and the manikin (Pauline Goldsmith).


Eidolon – Manichat camera views

Group 1 were now ready to participate in a simulation, in this case a femoral hernia repair. Each member of Group 1 was given a role such as Anaesthetic Assistant or Trainee, Surgical Assistant, Scrub Nurse and Floor Nurse.


Eidolon – simulation in progress

At the end of the simulation Group 1 went back to the Training Rooms and Group 2, got their scrubs on a went into “theatre” to complete the femoral hernia repair, again assigned roles of Anaesthetic Assistant or Trainee, Surgical Assistant, Scrub Nurse and Floor Nurse.


Eidolon – control room

At the end of the simulation both groups went back to the Training Rooms where they watched another on-screen live scripted dialogue “Manichat” between a medic/technician (the actor Stanley Pattison) and the manikin (Pauline Goldsmith). This was the second manichat that Group 2 had seen and the first for Group 1.


The Patient Manikin – Elsa Brodrick. Photography Pauline Goldsmith

To finish the performance we held a De-brief, with mince pies, tea and coffee (well it was just before Christmas!) back in Training Room 1, bringing together all of the audience, performers and staff. The experience generated lots of great discussion; how the manikin changed from subject to object during the simulation, whether the manichat was live or pre-recorded (and the observation from participants, who found the manikin a bit depressed, long suffering, moaning that she could always be switched off!), how calm the simulation scenarios were (even when the situation became more serious), the definition of roles within the medical theatre, the dignity of the body (living or dead), the audience suspension of disbelief i.e. the manikin appearing to be not just a dummy, but an actual person, the potential of other camera views, such as close ups, and the responsibility and terror of making mistakes (in all types of theatre!).


Eidolon – the de-brief. Photography Michael Moneypenny


Laerdal + The Unknown Woman of the Seine

Michael Moneypenny, Director of the Simulation Centre, told me the fascinating story of the relationship between Laerdal, the company who makes some of the Patient Simulators that the SCSC uses, and a mysterious drowned young woman in the Seine, in the late 1880’s.  The “L’Inconnue de la Seine” or Unknown Woman of the Seine, was reportedly so beautiful that the Paris pathologist that found her ordered that a death mask be made. Casts of this mask sold across Europe and have been referenced by numerous artists and writers, including Man Ray, who photographed the inconnue to illustrate Louis Aragon’s 1944 novel ‘Aurélien’.

Man Ray's photograph of 'The Unknown Woman of the Seine' used  to illustrate Louis Aragon's 1944 novel 'Aurélien'

Man Ray’s photograph of ‘The Unknown Woman of the Seine’ used to illustrate Louis Aragon’s 1944 novel ‘Aurélien’

In the 1950’s the mask of the  inconnue was chosen by a toy maker in Norway, Asmund Laerdal, after being approached by an Austrian doctor named Peter Safar, who was developing the basics of CPR, and was looking for a way to teach and practice this. The result was the Resusci Anne model, which is still in use today and has been resuscitated by more than 300 million people.

Resusci Anne - Laerdal

Resusci Anne – Laerdal

Laerdal - Patient Simulators

Laerdal – Patient Simulators

Other info:

‘Ophelia of the Seine’ by Angelique Chrisafis – http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/dec/01/france.art
Radio Labs ‘Death Mask’ programme – http://www.radiolab.org/story/172693-death-mask/