Plague of Angels
The Mud Angels were the young people who tried to rescue Florence's priceless books and treasures from the waters when the River Arno flooded in 1966.
The Mud Angels were the young people who tried to rescue Florence's priceless books and treasures from the waters when the River Arno flooded in 1966. In 1348 10 young people met at the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence to escape the plague that ravaged the city and they began to tell a series of wonderful stories – the basis of that medieval bestseller, The Decameron.
Put these stories together – the modern flood and the medieval plague – and there is the basis for a gripping plot, weaving links between fact and fiction. That is what first year drama students did to devise this new play at the drama studio.
As the students in the play work in the floodwaters they discover bits of the Decameron manuscript and, imprisoned by the flood, begin to re-enact the stories. Gradually the tales become more real and modern clothes give way to medieval costume. The tales of old men and young wives, of the agony of the plague, are full of variety and the young cast caught the atmosphere. With only the odd prop they recreated the spell of the tale-teller.
The show was entirely created, written and acted by the students.
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The dialogue sometimes sounded too much like a history lesson, but the power of the stories and the imaginative ways with which they were told gripped the audience.
The imaginative direction was by Tony Frost.
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t Plague of Angels was reviewed at the UEA Drama Studio.