Deuteronomy, Zoo Southside, Review

Deuteronomy - PigPen Productions
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
PigPen Productions
Charlie Thurston (writer / director), Alex Yates (producer).
Jo Rich (Man), Freddie Houlahan (Beggar).
Running time

“Hold!  Wait a moment!  This could be it!  This could be the one, let me see here –“

A beggar sits by the side of a wilderness dirt road thumbing through a tiny pocket bible, excited to have found what he has been searching for, but no, it’s improperly worded – He is getting muddled again, it’s a fool’s errand with nothing for it and plenty against it.  “God-forsaken book’s got too many pages.  Not a hope at my age, not a chance, exercise in futility”.

As he seeks alms for the poor, or perhaps those just sick and tired of it all, a gasping man wanders in. This apparent pilgrim is dragging a heavy coffin by a rope and seems unsure as to his purpose or his destination.

In mannered accent, style and language, they strike up conversation which soon has them struggling to make meaningful connection and challenging both each other as cynic or too self-assured and whether an apple that might be rotten is still and apple or lost to compost. They spar in wordplay, quick to judge and to size up each others characters in a shifting relationship as the most unlikely of friends.

Moments of philosophical contemplation on religion and mortality within a seeming incomprehensible universe contrast with explosive rage.  Despite the futility and being demeaned the doubtful pilgrim does not lie down and weep but instead lyrically lists the many tiny things that he does know.

The sound of explosions presages a mysterious impending doom, or at least a time to face up to things, and with the passing of a mantle things come full circle.

Reflecting Deuteronomy’s concern for the poor and disadvantaged the piece can be seen as an entreaty not to stand idly by.

With energetic performances and effective sound design, the production is interesting but is challenging in being unashamedly absurdist and ultimately the general Fringe goer might seek for more.


Show Times: 4 – 19 August 2023 at 9.25pm

Tickets: £12 to £12.50 (£10).

Suitability:  8+ (Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, strong language/swearing)