Sweep Up the Stars

Sweep Up The Stars charts the bittersweet journey of Bill/William, who is determined to become a writer when, at the age of eight, his older self appears to him through the power of time travel.

The performances are strong, with simple costume elements effectively indicating character doubling

In this whimsical two-hander written by Patrick Robertson, the story unfolds outside the rules of time as young Bill begins writing what he is certain will be a masterpiece. He has this certainty because future William has published a book entitled Sweep Up The Stars. William won’t tell Bill what it is about, because that would be cheating – other than to say it’s not the science fiction young Bill loves. He won’t tell Bill much, in fact, other than a few clues here and there, leaving Bill to discover his way himself.

I enjoyed the clever beginning where the fourth wall is broken through direct address by the performers, who also call on some audience members to briefly play the roles of Bill/William’s parents. This is skilfully done, with young Bill proffering helpful prompts for the audience members to respond to William’s expository questions and it succeeds in pulling the audience into the story.

A central theme of the play is the fictions we tell ourselves. It asks what the reward of literary greatness is – and its price. The performances are strong, with simple costume elements effectively indicating character doubling, and the use of props – some of which aren’t strictly necessary.

There are times when the staging becomes static, and the scenes between Bill and his father would benefit from a greater change in rhythm. In the later parts of the play, I felt the dialogue was overwritten. A cute remark from William referring to his authorial tendency to pen 7-page treatises on moral subjectivity did short-circuit my concern in part, but while this lyrical waxing does indeed characterise him, there is room for further tightening in the script.

Ultimately though, there is much to like about this quirky, philosophical journey through the life of one man, and the book of his life.

Reviews by Emma Gibson

theSpace @ Venue45

Love and Information by Caryl Churchill

C venues - C nova


theSpace on the Mile

The Beanfield

Pleasance Dome

The Hampstead Murder Mystery!

theSpace on the Mile

Marching for Necie

Paradise in The Vault

Women of the Mourning Fields


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Bill's going to be a famous author when he grows up. How does he know? Because he's met William, his future self. Bill has other plans, but William is determined to see him succeed ... whatever the cost. From the writer/director of Recursion. ‘Quiet brilliance ... a must-see’ **** (ThreeWeeks). ‘Recursion defines Fringe theatre’ ***** (BritishTheatreGuide.info).

Most Popular See More


From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets