'Ten Plagues' and 'The Coronation of Poppea'

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A&C Black, Aug 1, 2011 - Drama - 96 pages
In London
Came the plague in sixteen sixty five
One hundred thousand dead
But I alive.

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. Based on eye-witness accounts from 1665 and drawing poetic parallels with modern epidemics, Ten Plagues relates one man's journey through a city in crisis.

Told entirely through a series of songs, Ten Plagues explores humanity's struggle with sickness and death and celebrates our capacity for survival.

This volume also contains The Coronation of Poppea, a new version of Monteverdi's opera depicting the triumphant adultery between Poppea and Roman Emperor Nero. Tackling this tale of epic lives, Ravenhill updates Tacitus' scathing portrayal of decadence and imperial degeneracy with language which is contemporary, spare and brutally powerful.

Taking opera librettos as a foundation, this volume presents two texts for modern music theatre by the seminally controversial playwright Mark Ravenhill.

Mark Ravenhill's introduction to the volume explains the inspiration and writing process behind the two pieces.

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Without a Word
To Dream
The Pit
Scene Five
Scene Six
Scene Seven
Scene Eight
Scene Nine
Scene Ten
Scene Eleven
Scene Twelve

By Day
A New Law
Seeing You
The Wig
The Hermit
The Quaker
Ten Plagues
The Coronation of Poppea
Scene One
Scene Two
Scene Three
Scene Four
Scene Thirteen
Scene Fourteen
Scene Fifteen
Scene Sixteen
Scene Seventeen
Scene Eighteen
Scene Nineteen
Scene Twenty
Scene TwentyOne
Scene TwentyTwo
Scene TwentyThree
Methuen Drama Student Editions
Methuen Drama Modern Plays
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About the author (2011)

Mark Ravenhill is one of the most distinctive contemporary UK playwrights. He burst on to the theatre scene in 1996 with the huge hit Shopping and Fucking. He has continued to garner critical acclaim for plays that include Some Explicit Polaroids, Mother Clap's Molly House, and most recently Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat (National Theatre, Royal Court, Paines Plough, The Gate Theatre, April 2008).

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