Titled Ten Plagues, the new work, which will be staged in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs on 25 April 2010, runs as part of the Royal Court's latest Rough Cut season, an regular mini-season of experimental readings and works-in-progress.
According to press material, Ten Plagues is based on eyewitness accounts from the 1665 Black Death, and relates one man's journey through a city in crisis. Performed by Almond, it's told entirely through a series of songs, and “explores humanity's struggle with sickness and death and celebrates our capacity for survival”.
Mark Ravenhill's previous plays for the Royal Court include Shopping and Fucking, Product, Shoot, Get Treasure/Repeat and Over There. Most recently, he collaborated with Bette Bourne on his autobiographical show A Life in Three Acts at the Edinburgh Fringe and on tour. That show was produced by London Artists Projects, which is co-producing Ten Plagues.
Singer Marc Almond has sold over 30 million records worldwide since rising to fame as one half of 80s synthpop duo Soft Cell. Over the years he has collaborated with a number of artists including Nick Cave, Siouxsie, John Cale, Antony Hegarty, Gene Pitney and PJ Proby. In 2009 he released a collection of Russian folk songs Orpheus in Exile - the songs of Vadim Kozin and will be releasing a new album Variete in 2010.
Conor Mitchell is a musical dramatist from County Armagh, Ireland who has written over 40 theatre scores for venues including the National Theatre and Library Theatre Manchester. His production Have a Nice Life won Best Score at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2006. In the UK he was the winner of an Arts Foundation Fellowship for musical theatre composition.
Ten Plagues is presented in association with David Johnson with further support from The Mackintosh Foundation.