The Next Theatre Company of Evanston, IL, is currently running the American premiere of horror author Clive Barker's play, The History of the Devil or Scenes From a Pretended Life, through Dec. 7.
The play reveals a trial set on a desolate Turkana Coast, where Lucifer is defending his "fall from grace" against a hostile prosecution. He tries to persuade the court with twisted stories about the unjust devil "myths" that have spanned the ages and countries on Earth. 12 actors portray over 50 characters.
In its 16-year existence, the Next has done several adaptations of Barker plays, from short stories from his collection Books of Blood. A hit at Barker's own London based theatre group, The Dog Company, ...Devil was recommended to the Next Theatre by Barker himself.
An exhibit of contemporary art, "Condemned to Earth," featuring works with the theme of eternal damnation, will run concurrently with the play at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center Gallery. The exhibit will include illustrations by Barker himself, including other local artists.
London Award-winning novelist Barker is also a painter, writer, director and actor. He is credited with the three-film horror series Hellraiser. His first collection of plays was recently released in the book Incarnations, and his second will be released this December, in Forms of Heaven. ...Evil is directed by Steve Pickering, Artistic Director of the Next. For more information about The History of the Devil, please refer to the Regional Theatre Listing ofThe Next Theatre.
--By Blair Glaser