|20200726||The Plague was adapted from the globally renowned novel La Peste by Albert Camus, and directed for radio by Neil Bartlett, based on his 2017 Arcola Theatre production and script. A disturbing, deeply relevant listen.|
Bartlett's adaptation is the English language world radio premiere production of The Plague and focuses the story on five characters, using only words contained in the novel.
It is often said of La Peste - written in 1947 by the Nobel Prize winner for literature, Albert Camus - that the plague and the rats in his novel are an allegory for the rise of fascism across Europe. He always denied this. For us today, The Plague will have uncanny echoes of the pandemic, the restrictions and the moral dilemmas we are living through, as well as the rise of extremist ideology in many countries today.
Just like our current crisis, the characters in The Plague comprise heroes, selfless and selfish acts, those who shame themselves into changing, and those who do not and suffer the consequences once the plague has been conquered. Hope surfaces when there is talk of a serum but, with the arrival of the first attempts at a cure, who should be selected as the guinea pigs ?
In an uncanny parallel, this drama about a community facing lockdown due to a deadly plague was recorded by actors, locked down in their own homes during our own pandemic. The scope of the production was not reduced as a result.
Adapted for radio and directed by Neil Bartlett
Producer: Turan Ali
A Bona Broadcasting production for BBC Radio 4
World radio premiere of Albert Camus' classic novel of a town under plague and quarantine.
Drama from BBC Radio 4