Press Release: Reflections of a Constant Monk, September 2016

Luminate, Scotland’s Festival for Creative Ageing present the world premiere of a new work by poet and playwright Lee Gershuny. 

A modern monk walks the world asking questions as he, or sometimes she, goes – the answers form a colourful fabric of paradox and insight.

mccredie-26-06-2016-publicity-147-427x640Often gentle and funny, frequently poignant and always intelligently observed, Lee Gershuny’s Reflections of a Constant Monk is an interweaving of poetry, parable and original music.

It poses fundamental questions about human existence, whether it has purpose and why the bully seems to get away with trampling on the meek.

But far from despairing, the double gendered monk at the heart of the narrative sees beyond the immediate pain and drudgery of life and points to the possibility of beauty and freedom.

Reflections of a Constant Monk, which premieres at Summerhall in Edinburgh as part of Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival, is rich with a sense of pilgrimage and possibility – a work born of deep experience.

This is brought out to the full by the Edinburgh-based Elements World Theatre, which, for this production, consists of older performers aged 50 to 70

Gershuny, an internationally published poet and award-winning playwright, says: “As life goes on we tend to become increasingly aware of our own follies and foibles, and certainly of our mortality.

“But hopefully we also pick up a little wisdom along the way. Reflections of a Constant Monk looks playfully at some of the big questions we all ask about life and the world through the eyes of a modern-day wandering monk.

“Like the rest of us he or she is confused about why we seem to be permanently teetering on the brink of catastrophe. But he has an endless curiosity and willingness to see beauty in the darkest moment.

“Ultimately the monk’s religion, gender, culture and background don’t matter at all – he is an Everyman and Everywoman – bewildered and bedazzled by the same things as the rest of us are now and always have been.”

Reflections of a Constant Monk is directed by Corrine Harris and Robin Mason. The poetry is presented by Lee Gershuny and the music is played by Harris, Mason and Peter Galinsky.


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Listings information

Poetry and music

  • Venue: Summerhall, 1 Summerhall Place, Edinburgh EH9 1PL
  • Wheelchair accessible call 0131 560 1581
  • Time: 7.30pm
  • Tickets: £12/£10
  • Dates: 12-14 October
  • Suitability: 12+
  • Box office: 0131 5601581 General Enquires: 0131 560 1580


About Lee Gershuny

  • Lee Gershuny PhD is founder and Artistic Director of Elements World Theatre.
  • She is an internationally published poet and award-winning playwright in both the UK and USA.
  • From 1992 to the present, she has written all the plays that the The Elements World Theatre have produced as well as developed and directed innovative collaborative theatre with professional and “natural” performers of all ages and backgrounds nationally and internationally.
  • Her poetry has appeared in Southlight (Scotland); the international We ’Moon Almanac; The Art of Dis/appearing: Jewish Women on Mental Health, edited by Leah Thorn; and in print and spoken word in Sarawut Chutiwongpeti’s video art and installations in Australia, Finland, Thailand and the USA. She has also presented her poetry in collaborative performance with dancers and musicians.
  • For more about Elements of World Theatre see
  • The Elements World Theatre is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland No. 283766, Scottish Charity No. SC022072.


About Luminate

  • Luminate is an annual festival that takes place across the length and breadth of Scotland each October, offering the chance to celebrate creativity, share stories and to explore what ageing means to all of us.
  • This year’s event takes place from 1-31 October.
  • For more detailed information about the festival please refer to the website at


Media: Matthew Shelley 07786 704299