Following his award-winning performance over a decade ago, Graham Clarke revives his role in The Devil and Billy Markham.
The script, by the late American author Shel Silverstein, is described as a "raunchy one-man epic comedy poem". Indeed, in telling the story of a blues singer who gambles with the devil because he thinks he has nothing to lose, the work contains some explicit lines that may not fall kindly on sensitive ears. And yet, if you look beneath the profanity, there's a profound message about turning hell on earth into heaven in hell.
Clarke first came across the work at a performed reading in the late 1980s and later spent three months memorising the script's 10 000 words. His efforts have clearly paid off given how spellbinding he is in a role that feels as if it was written specifically for him. This is one gamble that definitely paid off!The Devil & Billy Markham is at Cape Town's Alexander Bar until 19 April. Book at www.alexanderbar.co.za or call +27 (0)21 300 1652.