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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Hell To Pay

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Steeped in bourbon and gleefully rolled in grit, Hell to Pay is a wicked adaptation of Shel Silverstein’s epic poem, The Devil and Billy Markham.

As in all gambling stories, the devil just can’t be beat, but Billy Markham, a full-time loser from Nashville, does his damnedest every time the devil gives him a chance. In this version, Billy gambles away his soul and that of his true love. The devil, sporting a set of red and black horns cleverly devised out of a satin brassiere, exacts his painful, and painfully funny, dues.

This three-member troupe from Blue Lake, Calif., bring a wild exuberance to a small space, wallowing in the brimstone and smoke, as they contort themselves into a motley crew of rabble, debased by their own foolishly played hands. The devil, his sidekick and his adversary, circle and spar with each other in this 60-minute comedy, illustrating with delightful debauchery the human condition and the tricky balance between good and evil.

— Wendy King

 

From the Fringe program:

In this original adaptation of Shel Silverstein's gritty tall tale, a hard-bitten gambler takes a chance on a bet with the Devil himself in hopes of making all of his raunchy dreams come true. But both the Devil and Billy Markham get more than they bargained for, as they juggle dames, demons and dice in a battle for Billy's everlasting soul. Our scuzzy hero journeys through heaven and hell, and learns that when you gamble with things that don't belong to you... there's hell to pay.

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