Following last year’s sold-out premiere, director Neil Bartlett revives his critically-acclaimed production of The Plague for four weeks only.
The Plague is Albert Camus’ electrifying story about living through a time of crisis and fighting back against despair.
Originally written in the aftermath of the Nazis’ march across Europe, the novel struck a powerful chord with millions struggling to understand the fascist ‘plague’ that had just overwhelmed them.
Now, as Europe slides again into chaos and uncertainty, this gripping stage adaptation retells Camus’ classic for our own dangerous times.
The cast perform well, alternating between reflecting on the past and being in the moment, and sometimes sharing lines as a chorus commenting on the crisis
I don’t think one can entirely ignore the work’s origins, but it here becomes a modern myth about the importance, in times of crisis, for what the historian Tony Judt called “a necessary optimism”
The play seems to be applicable to everything from Ebola to Syria and Brexit
Barlett's "state of plague" recalls our own semi-permanent state of emergency and, if nothing else, The Plague shows the sheer inevitability of systemic failure
Bartlett’s production can’t help but drive home a thumping message: namely, in the face of the unspeakable, what would you do? I have to admit I left it feeling a little bit devastated
A sturdy reminder of how Camus’s work justifies its status as a classic