The sections of this work are numbered for ease of performance and for reading on the page. It is intended the performance(s) are continuous.

// denotes variable gaps depending on performance. Opportunities for music

The italicised prose is the voice of the Guide. The number of other speakers is indeterminate

There is no second, middle, door in the Dining Room. Section 8 is representative of a Unitarian hell. The voice in the lines ("Look closely George . . . Surrealism") is that of George Melly, a relative of the Holts

First Performance

Robert Sheppard reading at Studley House, beside Turner's 'The Wreck Buoy'

Sudley House was realised as a guided tour/performance at Sudley House, in four shows on 6 and 12 November 2004, with Scott Thurston as second voice and presence (a reader at the desk in part three, the figure on the balcony in part five, and second voices in part eight). Many thanks for Scott's support and involvement. Both photos © Andrew Taylor, 2004.

Robert Sheppard reading at Studley House


I would like to thank Ms Jane Duffy and Mr Alex Kidson of the National Galleries of Merseyside for allowing me to act as Visiting Scholar to Sudley House, and to the latter for his whistle-stop private tour of the bequest. Thanks to all the staff at the House for making my visits so pleasant, and for the smooth running of the performances.

I readily acknowledge monies from the Edge Hill College of Higher Education School of Humanities and Arts Research Development Fund to enable this work to be developed.


Kidson, Alex, Sudley: The Emma Holt Bequest (Liverpool: National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, 1992)
Sudley House Guide (Liverpool: National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, n.d.)
Sudley: Illustrated Catalogue and History of the House (Liverpool: By Order of the City Council, 1971)


Sudley House (Liverpool: National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, n.d.)


on the National Museums Liverpool website:

           The history of Sudley House and its collection
           Sudley House's present refurbishment
           some works in the Sudley House collection

Edge Hill Poet to Perform at Sudley House – gives an account of the Performance