Theatre Tours International Ltd
Theatre Tours International Ltd
What's On NOW!

  • Presented in association with Theatre De Balie (Amsterdam) & Cosmic Theatre (NL)
  • Written by Shel Silverstein
  • Performed by Frank Sheppard
  • Directed by Maarten van Hinte
  • 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.
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." (Guardian 11/08/99)

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

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