The work, entitled Ten Plagues, will be presented April 25 at 5 PM in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, as part of the theatre's ongoing Rough Cuts project in which a mini-season of experimental readings and works-in-progress are staged, usually in July.
According to press materials, Ten Plagues is told entirely through a series of songs and explores humanity's struggle with sickness and death and celebrates our capacity for survival. Based on eyewitness accounts from 1665, it tells of one man's journey through a city in crisis. London is infected. The dead fall in the streets. As the plague pits fill, the people of London struggle to maintain a society in the face of overwhelming mortality.
Ravenhill, whose debut play Shopping and Fucking was premiered under the auspices of the Royal Court and for whom he has also written Product, Shoot, Get Treasure/Repeat and Over Here, was last seen on stage in A Life in Three Acts that he wrote and co-performed with Bette Bourne at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, London's Soho Theatre and New York's St. Ann's Warehouse.
Mitchell is a musical dramatist from Co. Armagh, Ireland, who has written for National Theatre, LAMDA, Belfast Festival, and Library Theatre Manchester. He has written over 40 theatre scores; his production Have a Nice Life won Best Score at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2006.
The piece will be directed and designed by Tony winner Stewart Laing, whose recent projects as director/designer include Pamela Carter's new play An Argument About Sex for Tramway Glasgow and La Boheme for Scottish Opera. He is currently designing Peter Grimes for La Scala, Milan. He won a Tony Award for his design of Titanic on Broadway in 1997. Marc Almond, who will perform the piece with guests, is an internationally successful and acclaimed artist who has sold over 30 million records worldwide. Amongst his many collaborators are 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.
Ten Plagues was commissioned by London Artists Projects, who co-present it here with the Royal Court Theatre. The producer is Jeremy Goldstein. It is presented in association with David Johnson with further support from The Mackintosh Foundation.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7565 5000, or visit www.royalcourttheatre.com.