Year: 2005

Title of the play: Pillar Talk / Slapdash

Author: Edward Petherbridge

Director: Edward Petherbridge

Others in the Cast:None


Theatre and location: Edinburgh Festival Fringe Pleasance Jack Dome

Other productions of the same play: 

Plot summary - Pillar Talk: Saint Simeon Stylites' residence on a pillar. Slapdash: One of EP’s own poems regarding the infinity of the universe (and robins).
Peth’s role: St Simeon Stylites / Himself


Pillar Talk is a theatrical sketch for saint and pillar, subtitled 'Backcloth and Ashes'. The short tail piece, Slapdash, charts his pilgrimage from a Bradford Sunday School to Damascus, Aleppo, and tea at the Baghdad Café 60 kilometres from the Iraq border, to what's left of Symeon's pillar. The British Theatre Guide

Edward Petherbridge is an acting institution who is currently celebrating his Golden Jubilee on stage. His latest venture is the ultimate one-man show since he is writer, director, actor, roadie, publicist, indeed everything apart from the audience. His dress is impressive, a suit that should have been designed by Jackson Pollock and sets off a Monet backdrop artistically. He was presumably costume designer too.

Petherbridge is inevitably a multi-talented man but might have benefited from a little directorial assistance. The veteran's delivery is relaxed to the point where both he and we almost forget that he has a play to get through. In fact, in the performance reviewed, the first part was a meander through the life of an actor, rendered in Petherbridge's beautifully modulated voice. Along the way, he also delivered a poem, Slapdash, which he informed us more regularly closes the performance.

With a keen eye on the clock, he eventually led us into the more serious business of the afternoon. This was a one-man play about Simeon Stylites, the Saint who spent 36 years on top of a pillar. Even during Pillar Talk, the actor never lost sight of his profession and was happy to slip out of character to deliver asides, in one case helped by a theatregoer who slipped into and out of the wrong show. The tale of the hermit and the men who come to visit him says almost as much about the play's actor/writer as it does about its ostensible subject. This is a nice opportunity to see a master craftsman at work while learning a little about a fascinating biblical oddity. - Philip Fisher, The British Theatre Guide

Production details:

Related links:

Extract from the poem:
Was God then unemployed
When things were formless and to quote the Bible “Void”?
Somewhat at a loss without a cosmos?

Did he thunder “Oh God damn it
Won’t it start unless I bang it?”

The poem here (bottom of page):



Original pic here: 


Peth performing the poem. Extract on Youtube.

 Original pic here

Make a Free Website with Yola.