Directed by Simon Usher

Sam Shepard is America's most adventurous and poetic living playwright. Sam Shepard begins and ends with a road: the route to promise and fulfillment, or damnation - though sometimes the two seem perilously close.

Here is a rare opportunity to experience his work through this unique roadshow that travels the length of that road, backwards, forwards, and any other way it is possible to go. The roadshow is comprised of two separate programmes: The Holy Ghostly and The War in Heaven are presented together, and The Animal (You) will play in repertory with the film Savage/Love, by Academy Award winning director Shirley Clarke.

The Holy Ghostly by Sam Shepard

Pop has come to the desert to destroy the ghost of a Navajo demon, bringing with him a supply of marshmallows, a bazooka and his rock-star son.
Shepard tears apart the dysfunctional father/son relationship that haunts his work with this early play, a brutally entertaining campfire tale full of abrupt transformations, freewheeling myth and bodies that just won't stay dead.

The War in Heaven by Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard

A moving plea from both a fallen angel, and a man struggling to be heard once more.
Co-written with actor Joseph Chaikin after he was left aphasic following a major stroke. Simon Usher returns to the piece after directing Chaikin in the UK premiere at the Royal Court in 1987.

The Animal (You) created by Jack Tarlton and Simon Usher using Sam Shepard’s works

A drive through the landscape of Sam Shepard’s poetry and prose, played loud to the standard rock and roll progression of C, A minor, F, G chords. Many of the themes that stalk Shepard’s work for theatre are laid bare in these tales that he has been writing over the last forty years.

Savage/Love by Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin

Academy Award winning director Shirley Clarke captures Obie award winning actor Joseph Chaikin’s extraordinary solo performance.

In addition there will be an opportunity to attend
- A workshop on the collaborative theatre of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin, centred on a screening of a second film by Shirley Clarke - Tongues, led by director Simon Usher.
- A solo gig by Herons! who provides live music for the performances and whose work is reminiscent of Sam Shepard’s music. Herons! has toured extensively across Europe and the UK supporting and playing with the likes of John Cooper Clarke and Hermes.

The project grew from Making the Sound of Loneliness produced by Actors Touring Company and presented at Latitude Festival 2012.

"Evocatively conjures up all those endless highways, motels and empty badlands that dominate Sam Shepard’s work." Jonathan Lovett, The Stage, on ATC's Making the Sound of Loneliness.

For a more details go to
@Presence Theatre


"Memorably intense performances."

Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

"Evocatively conjures up all those endless highways, motels and empty badlands that dominate Sam Shepard’s work." - on The Animal (You), formerly Making the Sound of Loneliness.

Jonathan Lovett, The Stage