Clive Barker's The History of the Devil
Clive Barker's The History of the Devil

Clive Barker’s The History of the Devil

Clive Barker’s frequently fantastic and often grotesque play makes its Brisbane debut at Metro Arts this November.

A deprived and lovelorn Satan is sick and tired of living in Hell. He bemoans the loss of his angel-wings, his freedom of flight, his elegance, and grace. And he misses God. So, he calls a trial, his appeal, to seek re-admittance into Heaven. The prosecution argues that the Devil’s presence on Earth has had a disastrous effect on mankind, whereas the defence counters that the Devil is – and always has been – man’s greatest scapegoat.

As the trial moves through space and time, a seductively wide range of characters tell the Devil’s story, each testimony revealing the Devil wearing a different skin, until, by the end, he sheds them all. Are these scenes of humanity’s great failures – or are they the work of the Devil, his own wicked crimes? Does even the Devil eventually deserve paradise? If Satan wins his day in court, he’ll be with his Father in Heaven. And if he loses? He’ll spend eternity here with us – on Earth.

It’s an argument for integrity. If letting the Devil, a character widely regarded as the ultimate wrongdoer, go free turns out to be the ethical thing to do, should you do it?

Under James Kable’s capable direction of Clive Barker’s dark and witty script for Polymorphic Productions, we see Satan at his mercurial wickedest. In a play of interesting twists and turns, full of dark humour and some hilarious role reversals, a gifted cast of 10 portray over 30 characters in this one-of-a-kind production.

The History of the Devil plays at Metro Arts New Benner Theatre from 22nd November to 16th December 2023

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