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August 2024 - Edinburgh Fringe


“If you follow someone down a path you don’t recognise, you risk not being able to find your way back”.


Ouida Burt was raised on the fantasy stories of her hometown. Where the devil rides at night and the piskies of Dartmoor are waiting to lead daydreamers astray. 

The family used to joke that her father - a somnambulist - was such a person. He would sleepwalk about the house, “piskie-led” - so he said - by Ouida’s cherished imaginary friend “Bert”.

But, one night, he sleepwalked out of their family home and onto the moors… never to return. His clothes, laid out for the following day, left untouched. 

After the search is called off, the family is forced to accept that perhaps he simply abandoned them. They agree, from this point on, to give up all notion of fantastical things. 

And this included “Bert”.

Years later, Ouida is now a respected therapist, an academic, and a stone cold sceptic.

In PISKIE the audience joins Ouida as she hosts a group therapy session for her “Spooks and Frights” lecture circuit. As usual, she’s here to debunk fears of the irrational and fantastic - to explain away the inexplicable with cold, hard evidence. It is time to turn a light on all those things that go bump in the night. 

But one of the things that keeps Ouida up in the night cannot be explained. Something that followed her back from the moors all those years ago. Could “Bert” really be… back?

What will you believe?

PISKIE interrogates the entrenchment of ideas, showing that even the most rational people can have irrational beliefs, and asks why it is so easy to give advice that you do not take. A beautiful story about magic versus cynicism that sends the audience away charmed… and maybe just a little bit spooked. 


*Piskie is a Cornish word for Pixie.

Written and performed by Lucy Roslyn

Directed by Jamie Firth


Photos by: Boondog Theatre

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