A young nihilist questions the paradoxes of the world and is set to destroy all he does not understand. A mysterious gentleman pays him a visit on the eve of his terrible plot and a game of cat and mouse ensues. Wit, wisdom, philosophy and humor intertwine with original violin music in a seriocomic look at what happens when the Devil finds he’s become superfluous in a world of hatred, intolerance and violence.
This play, inspired by Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” and “The Devils” is extraordinarily relevant today. It explores the nature of good and evil, free will versus predestination, the existence of God and the purpose of the Devil in a world gone mad. Accompanied by live violin and viola played by the actor and musicians, the play blurs the lines between theater and concert, creating a rich dialogue.
His Majesty, the Devil is a collaboration between acclaimed Broadway actor MacIntyre Dixon (currently appearing in the Fantasticks); his late wife Alexandra Devon who wrote the script; and their son Colin Pip Dixon who portrays the young man and performs original music that he composed for the play. It was presented to sold out audiences in New York City last July at 59E59 Theater’s East to Edinburgh Festival and was included in the 2013 lineup at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Photos by Rodney Damon II (http://experimentography.tumblr.com)
A Note From Colin Pip Dixon
A LABOR OF LOVE INSPIRED BY A DEVIL This production is a tribute to Alexandra Devon, the playwright… and also my mother. It seems almost too personal and a little risky to admit that a professional, artistic project is based on family ties. But in the end, it is so much at the heart of this work that it would be a shame to keep it a secret. My mother passed away in 2010. And so, my father and I have come together to perform and bring new life and completion to this play which deals with questions of life and death, good and evil. I also realize now that I am very lucky to be able to share a professional and artistic relationship with my parents. In 1998 I left for Paris to find my own way. But as I grow older and life brings on difficult experiences, I feel more and more how important it is to come back to what’s essential – to follow where the heart leads you. In 2012 I came back to New York, and back to my roots. Our director, Mathilde Schennen, was at a similar place in her life when we met and this drew us together. In the end, I’ve come to understand that every important artistic project that I have been a part of was based on work with family – not necessarily blood relatives, but a family of other artists with whom I felt that the invisible tie and trust that bound us together was that of family. This is essential. It is one thing for a father and son to perform and work together (and a great challenge too!), but it is another thing to extend those family ties out to include other artists and, eventually, one hopes, entire audiences. My hope is that through this experience we might all have the experience of belonging to the same family – the human family. Isn’t that partly what art is about? My mother had a very unique and personal understanding of Dostoyevsky. She was able to bring out so much humor from his work and a vital sense of what it means to be alive and live to the fullest. May this work not only be a tribute to her and to Dostoyevsky, but also to the beauty of life and human ties even in moments of despair and darkness. As the “Devil” says in this play, we always have the choice… to destroy or to create, to add to life or to take away.
– Colin Pip Dixon