"Meditheatre 1967/2017": Performance and Talk
Saturday, November 4
4:00 PM–5:30 PM
Location: Old Anatomy Theatre, King's College LondonSpeaker/performer: Steven Palmer, Gilda Stillbäck, Sandra Abouav
Steven Palmer (Windsor), “Anatomy of the Meditheatre”; Gilda Stillbäck, A film-theatre performance commissioned for this event with the support of the Modern Languages Research Initiatives Fund (KCL), also featuring Sandra Abouav, with music composed by Anders Rimpi.
Restaging "Miracles in Modern Medicine", Surprise Hit of the 1967 Montreal World's Fair
Over the six months of Expo67, some 2.5 million people watched Robert Cordier's multimedia show at the Meditheatre; twenty thousand of them fainted. Cutting-edge medical procedures filmed and edited using avant garde cinematic techniques were projected on giant screens above actors who interacted with the film as they performed medical roles on sets dressed with real hospital equipment. The film included the first ever explicit depiction of a live birth seen by a mass public, and also contained revolutionary footage of open-heart and brain surgery. Using recently rediscovered archival materials, Meditheatre 1967/2017 reconstructs the original production in a talk by medical historian Steven Palmer, and then re-conceives the show in a piece by Swedish performance artist, Gilda Stillbäck commissioned especially for this event, and tailored to the historic King's College Anatomy Lecture Theatre.
For a recent discussion in The Walrus of the historic aspects of the film and show, https://thewalrus.ca/the-movie-that-shocked-canada/
Professor, Department of History
Windsor University, Ontario, Canada