Theatre Tours International Ltd
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THE DEVIL & BILLY MARKHAM

  • Presented in association with Theatre De Balie (Amsterdam) & Cosmic Theatre (NL)
  • Written by Shel Silverstein
  • Performed by Frank Sheppard
  • Directed by Maarten van Hinte
  • PREMIÈRED EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 1999 - ASSEMBLY ROOMS
  • Frank Sheppard and Maarten van Hinte - respectively actor & writer of 1998's sensational O.J. OTHELLO, teamed up once again to bring Shel Silverstein's explosive six part monologue to the 1999 Edinburgh Festival.
  • Billy Markham, forgotten blues composer, agrees to sell his soul to the Devil in exchange for a final shot at fame & fortune and, in the smokey confines of a sleazy pool hall, a deal is thrashed out... but, being faced with the sulphurous consequences of losing, Billy tries to get out of the deal... the Devil is generous and gives billy a second shot, then a third... relishing the fiendish competition... until Billy calls his bluff... acknowledging that behind his own mask, a devil hides too...
  • Two other characters appear in the play: GOD a monomaniacal snooker champion, and SCUZZY SLEEZO a mephistophelising Snooker agent, both of whom, quite accidentally, are revealed by Billy as alter-egos of The Devil.
  • The story has been told many times: It's an archaic conflict... In this telling however the partners are the present-day citizens - The Devil; a pseudo-jovial businessman working hard to keep Hell running efficiently, and Billy Markham; a neglected composer of raunchy Bluessongs, secretly cherishing his loser status.
  • The late Shel Silverstein was a cartoonist, composer, lyricist, folk-singer and a writer. In this streetwise epic he established his qualities as a musical juggler of native images, irreverently juxtaposed in a vulgar setting where the musicality of the text and the vividity or its images have the effect of a Bluessong.
  • This is an hour of power; raw, uncompromising, streetwise. A performance not to be missed...

"This is a masterful rollercoaster ride of temptation and redemption." (Sunday Herald 15/08/99)

"Frank Sheppard has a magical voice that he stretches and twists like a clarinet." (The Guardian 11/08/99)

"...an enticing old time yarn, and Sheppard is a compelling performer...captivatingly intense." (The Times 12/08/99)

"Dice, drink and the devil - what more could you want?" (The Independent 11/08/99)