Aleister Crowley: A Passion For Evil (2 stars)

This article is from 2010

Aleister Crowley: A Passion For Evil

John Burns wrote and stars in Aleister Crowley: A Passion For Evil

Theatrical monologue from the renowned occultist

Credited with being an inspiration to everybody from The Beatles to L. Ron Hubbard, there’s a great deal of celebrity allure surrounding Aleister Crowley. This show, starring, written and directed by Highlands-based actor and writer John Burns, aims to dispel some of the mystery, as Crowley looks back on his life whilst backstage at one of his ceremonial magick performances.

The story is an intriguing one: Crowley’s father was a preacher in a sect, and died of tongue cancer when Crowley was 11; in later life, Crowley admitted to taking part in drug and sex orgies, and formed a cult around himself; he was even rumoured to have been involved with MI6. Unfortunately, Burns lacks a deft touch when in comes portraying this complicated character; on the contrary, both the writing and his acting are far too hammy, and an air of camp theatricality smothers the entire production.

C Central, until 28 Aug (not 22 or 23), 4.15pm, £8.50–£10.50 (£7.50–£9.50)

Aleister Crowley: A Passion for Evil

  • 2 stars

'The Wickedest Man in World' inspired the Beatles, Ozzy Osbourne immortalised him in song, and for Jimmy Page he was an obsession. Was he the devil, so depraved, so evil that even Black Magicians reviled him? Or was he the only man with enough courage to lead the world towards a new dawn of freedom? Mountaineer, poet…