A Song of Plague – By Lost in the Fog at The Warren: The Burrow
1665, Death arrives in London. Rats flood the city and a sinister shadow haunts the streets. A combination of live original music, puppetry and transformation tell an intimate tale of plague, family and sacrifice when Death steps foot on the shores of the Thames.
Opening with a beautifully penned folk song by the company’s resident actor/musician Sonny Brazil, the performance started confidently with its performers setting the scene in a mediaeval city tableau and apothecary shop. The show follows the story of a Doctor and his daughter as they fight to protect their city from a nameless shadow – that of death caused by black rats. The doctor’s daughter sits perched on the roof and watches the city trailed by a black rat and an increasing number of red crosses.
Through mime, puppetry and song, the company conveys their epic tale of disease and dis-ease whilst the medic and his child search for a cure ‘delaying and decaying dinner for the hungry crows’.
The show explores the London of 1665 when the Great Plague swept across the city where ‘death’s little fleas, they spread disease..’ Using music as a narrative, the lyrics serve as the dialogue between the characters, introducing new experiences and stages of the tale. Shadow play helps to tell the second part of the performance with the discovery of a yellow flower in a bid to outwit the increasingly large crow headed figure of Death as it stalks the intricately created cityscape.
I arrived at this show to note that it was completely packed out despite this being the first show by a new company, so obviously a good sign. This proved to be rather more challenging once inside on the hottest day of the year so far – encased in a metal cabin with about 40 other people (both families and adults) was somewhat warm, but this peach of a show made it truly all worth it.
Lost in the Fog are a young and new Theatre and Arts collective from London. I very much recommend this one. These are ones to watch, they are the puppeteers of the future!
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