We all know the story of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street who slit his customers’ throats with a razor blade. But throughout history and across different cultures blood letting has been highly prized because many people believed it had healing properties. Now the this ancient belief is the subject of a unique lecture/performance called Blood on the Streets which will take place, appropriately enough, at Twenty Eight barber’s shop on Friday evening.
The piece has been devised by performance artist Jamie Lewis Hadley and Dr Belinda Fenty who will be examining the history of bloodletting as a medical practice, tracing its roots in ancient medicine, the rise of the barber-surgeon and our current understanding of this incredible substance. Through a combination of live text, projected images and re-enactment, the key figures, instruments and often unbelievable techniques will be revealed.
Jamie, who has showcased his work in the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, France, Lithuania and Croatia, uses his experience as a professional wrestler as a departure point to create live performances based on blood, deterioration, endurance, pain and violence. His current area of research and creative is based the history of bloodletting as a medical practice – and during this performance, he will have a pint of blood extracted from his arm by an experienced doctor.