Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart November 30, 2009 at 10:03 am


An actress, Rita Marcalo, who has suffered epileptic seizures in private for 20 years is attempting to induce one for a public performance.
Ms Marcalo has stopped taking medication ahead of next month’s production entitled Involuntary Dances which she claims is to raise awareness of the condition.
But she is facing criticism for putting herself at risk and the voyeuristic nature of the 24-hour event which is being funded by a 13,889 Arts Council grant.
People will be invited to film her at Bradford Playhouse, West Yorkshire, where she will use strobe lighting, fasting and raising her body temperature to try and bring about a seizure.

Telegraph (thanks, Eliza)

November 30, 2009 at 10:06 am
Tash says:

thought that was coops at first look!

November 30, 2009 at 10:07 am
Karl says:

I’m not tooo sure if i like the idea of this, I live with someone who is Epileptic and when/if they fit, its not a nice experiance….

Silly Girl..

November 30, 2009 at 10:08 am
helen says:

This woman is endagering herself. Surely they could stop her. What a stupid thing to do. I hope she pays to be taken to a private hospital afterwards.

November 30, 2009 at 10:14 am
coocumber says:

that’s a bit dangerous, if i was epileptic i wouldn’t dream of doing something like that, be scared shitless!

November 30, 2009 at 10:32 am
Darryl says:

It seems that you can get an art council grant for anything. I may apply for one and take a dump on stage. I don’t mean to be insensitive to her condition, but this isn’t art!

November 30, 2009 at 10:34 am
audrey says:

what an idiot she is

November 30, 2009 at 10:39 am
Paul says:

I don’t know which I find more repugnant – the fact that she wants to do such a thing, or the people who would want to pay to watch it.

November 30, 2009 at 10:48 am
Scott says:

the concept of this is pretty silly, anyone wishing to put themselves into harms way would probably be sectioned under the mental health act. Art isn’t about endangering your health, if that were the case we would have seen diabetcs snorting sugar a long time ago.

The fact that she claims to have ‘suffered in private for 20 years’ is really her own doings, as there are plenty of focus groups related to this illness both on the internet, and provided by local health authorities.

Raising awareness is a good cause, if it’s done sensibaly. Not by some pretentious art type who thinks she has had it hard up and wanting to make a melodramatic statement.

November 30, 2009 at 10:52 am
emma doran says:

Good on her! but hope she be all right ! :0 ..take care all…,em

November 30, 2009 at 10:54 am
Zamurazi says:

Bit stupid I have to say, I see her point, but..

.. Then you could just ask, what’s the point..?..

November 30, 2009 at 11:03 am
Yvonne says:

not shocked, not much considered as art shocks me, but i am annoyed. I was friends with a sufferer of epilepsy, it made his life hell, small, horrible. My grandmother had it too, not much fun for my Mum growing up and having to deal with it. I don’t consider this to be a useful way to raise awareness. I consider this a waste of arts council money.

November 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm
Diane Brown says:

Why would she want to do such a stupid thing!! When you see people die from such seizures as i have you tend to not see the funny side of this act!!! :(

November 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm
Rae says:

Nah, too far.

November 30, 2009 at 1:36 pm
mordicai says:

Fucking fuck lady! Avante art is fucking crazy. Are people from the audience supposed to run up on stage & shout “Is there a doctor in the house!?” too?

November 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm
Nadia says:

Oh dear, why would you want to make yourself suffer in order to raise awareness? Surely if people are willing to go to the performance, they’re already aware of the condition, and will try to support people who suffer from it…

If someone’s trying to raise awareness of child abuse, they’re not going to make a child live with a paedophile JUST to make a point and raise awareness (I know this example is abit extreme, but come on!)


November 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm
Tommy says:

This is ridiculous, I’m all for awareness raising, but I have lost a close friend due to Epilepsy, and I can promise you that she would have scoffed at this idea. Endangering your own health just to raise awareness or to gain more attention is nothing short of moronic.

November 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm
Jan Stark says:

She must have the borderline syndrome. That or she’s plain suicidal.
If it’s the former and if she survives, she’ll probably keep on doing things that may be harmful as response to the attention and publicity she got for it the first time around.

November 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm
Storm™ says:

Raising awareness – omg – we dont need top raise awareness to this and many other conditions. We need to bloody raise money to help treat it. The politicians know all about most medical conditions and the need to treat them, but they have run out of money to pay for the treatment. Look in any British National Formula (a book that Dr’s use to look up dosages) and in it is every medication you can get in the UK. Also though, it has unit price. Most are bloody pence. Yet they are running out of money. Stop giving money away to stupid causes and direct it where its needed. To help these conditions and children who have cancer etc…

November 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Guess I can understand the reasons behind her doing this……just. But really, to knowingly induce a fit with all the risks etc, that go with it (which I’m sure she knows) is just stupid & reckless.

LC x

November 30, 2009 at 4:42 pm
Paul says:

So, she’s just going to watch strobe lights until she seizures? Or doesn’t? And that’s it?

This isn’t a ‘performance’, it’s a grotesque exercise in voyeurism. What sort of person would want to go and watch this?

Mind you, you could say it’s a bit like watching someone play Russian roulette live. Hmm.

November 30, 2009 at 5:06 pm
Cupid says:

This makes me SO angry! Why on earth is this woman doing it? Raising awareness…? I think not!! They’ve given her almost £14,000… for what requires nothing more than a poxy strobe light! She requires no other resources, as she’s not taking her meds, and won’t be eating!!

What’s happened to real artists? The Arts Council clearly have their priorities wrong! So many of my promising students would benefit from just a fraction of this money!!

Here’s some other moneymaking “theatrical delights” the Arts Council may throw money at:

Let’s lock a load of addicts in a theatre and watch them go cold turkey… Let’s see how long we can keep people under general anaesthetic… Maybe we could see how long it takes me to pass out if I slash my wrists?!! None of this is beneficial to anyone… nobody in their right mind wants to see it!

November 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm
Mike says:

November 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm
Steve Woolston says:

To raise awareness, eh? Of what? Epilepsy? Or herself?

This isn’t art. This is just a ‘I wanna be famous’ stunt. Well, it will work for that. For about five minutes. And then the fickle public will just forget again.

As my partner is epileptic, I find this to be in very poor taste. (So, it should sell very well.)

What next? Tickets-only self-harm events?

November 30, 2009 at 6:02 pm
ReliegiousMarie says:

Hmm…Not sure what to think of this…

November 30, 2009 at 6:45 pm
Nopke says:

What kind of people will go there and watch it I wonder. It’s not a pleasant sight , esp. if you are not used to it.
But that it is her right … no doubt about that, if it will help others with seizures.

One of my rabbits does have them now and then .. it’s not nice. Dying animals have them too (well, not epileptic seisures but it reminds me of them) .. not nice. Most people know what epileptic seisures look like from tv I think.

December 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm
Ben says:

Having read the above posts,

GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m reminded quite how much I hate the British public when I read comments such as the above.

Hope it comes off Ok and she’s alive and well next day.

December 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm
jo says:

As someone who lives with Epilepsy every day I object very much to what this lady is trying to do,its not entertainment!
I cannot think how this would raise awareness except if someone who has Epilepsy as I have might think mmh must remember never to miss my medication.
I hope very much for her sake that nothing comes to pass because when its all going on it really wont be her problem anymore thats the point when it becomes other peoples problem.
The Arts Council should hang their heads in shame I sincerely hope if this goes wrong that they are held accountable!

December 17, 2009 at 11:32 pm
Nina says:

Living with epilepsy and hoping everyday that I don’t have a fit, I can’t imagine why you would want to induce one. The money that has been given could have gone to so much better use without putting anyones life in danger . This will not help raise awareness of Epilepsy, this women, and The Arts Council sicken me.


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