This October internationally renowned Clod Ensemble will premiere Placebo. To run alongside their latest production, the interdisciplinary performance company has programmed a season of original and thought-provoking events, which will delve deeper into many of the questions that the topic of placebo provokes.

The ‘placebo response’ describes an effect which occurs when a person is given a ‘fake’ or ‘inactive’ treatment but experiences an improvement in health regardless. Scientific research has shown that the colour or size of pills can impact on their effectiveness, that sham surgery can create lasting pain relief, and that the ‘performance’ of the doctor can impact on medical outcomes. Some placebo treatments have now been shown to create measurable physiological change in the brain and the immune system.

What are the ramifications of this research for the way we think about and practice healthcare? Is modern medicine making the most of the power of placebo?

The Power of Placebo brings together scientists, artists, architects, ethicists, writers and anthropologists, to explore how our attitudes, beliefs, relationships, rituals and environments can affect our health for better or for worse.

Placebo will open at The Lowry, Salford (11-13 October), before travelling to Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton (16-17 October), then onto DERELICT, Preston (19-20 October), ending with a two-week run at The Place in London (30 October-10 November), who have commissioned Placebo.

SALFORD In association with Manchester Science Festival

POST-SHOW Q&A Friday 12 October, 2018 The Lowry, Salford Suzy Willson and Paul Clark – the Artistic Directors of Clod Ensemble – will talk about the themes and processes that underpin their latest show Placebo. Chaired by Gianna Bouchard, Editor of Performance and the Medical Body, this conversation will illuminate the ways that the show has drawn on research behind the placebo effect and what an artistic perspective can bring to the subject matter. Free with a ticket to Placebo

WORKSHOP: DOCTOR YOU Saturday 13 October, 2018 10am – 2:30pm The Lowry, Salford Through a range of entertaining and memorable exercises, in this workshop, led by leading placebo researcher Dr.Jeremy Howick, participants will draw on the science of placebos to explore how they might enhance their own health. £6 / £4

PANEL: THE POWER OF THE PLACEBO EFFECT Saturday 13 October, 2018 4pm – 6pm The Lowry, Salford Speakers: Jeremy Howick, Anita Shervington, Prof. Anthony Jones In this panel discussion, leading scientists and artists will begin to unpick the complex relationships between the brain, mind, and our ability to heal, considering how placebo relates to topics including pain, empathy, and charisma. £5

WORKSHOP: SOUND AFFECTS – SOUND & WELLBEING Tuesday 23 October, 2018 7pm – 9:30pm Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street Drawing on the latest research and technological advancements in psychoacoustics, this workshop invites you to explore the relationship between sound, acoustics and wellbeing. Lend us your ears and decipher the psychological and physiological responses we have to everything from music to noise pollution. Led by Jon Drever. £6 / £4

PANEL: SOCIAL PRESCRIPTION Thursday 25 October, 2018 6pm-8pm The Whitworth, Manchester Speakers: Jo Ward, Co-Chair of Social Prescription Network (North-West branch); Wendy Gallagher, Arts and Health Partnership Manager at the Whitworth; Michelle Howarth, Senior Lecturer, Salford University. Along with pills and prescriptions, doctors and nurses can now prescribe a whole range of non-clinical community services that help improve your health. In a pressurised health system, how can the arts, culture and sports help to support the health of entire communities? £5 / £3


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