‘E’ is for Ecstasy (1992)
The Class A drug ‘ecstasy’ or 3,4-Methylene-dioxy-meth-amphetamine (MDMA) became inextricably linked with the nascent ‘rave’ scene in late 1980s Britain. The psychoactive properties of the substance, including euphoria, hallucinogenic effects and increased energy, were a perfect foil for the new house and techno music sweeping through British nightlife. By the time this television programme was screened in 1992, an estimated 500,000 people were taking it on a regular basis. As a number of fatalities attributed to the drug were reported, some doctors warned that users were engaging in a ‘dance of death’.
Peder Clark will be discussing the programme and other televisual representations of ecstasy, exploring the social, emotional, and health histories of its consumption.