The Plague Dances

A modern parable inspired by the mass hysteria at Strasbourg in 1518. Presented at the Malthouse Theatre. Commissioned and developed as their Company in Residence 2012.

Staged with an ensemble of ten actor/musicians in a deconstructed church built from salvaged timber, textured burlap, dirt, and local shrubbery. Scored for vocals, double bass, dulcimer, harp, banjo, tom, recorder, violin, broken zithers, and the federation bells on loan from the Melbourne Museum.

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★

"a compelling production from a company whose comprehensively reconstructed notion of the immersive Gesamtkunstwerk has produced some of the most inspiring and original art I've ever seen."
Arts Hub

Music and Concept Mat Sweeney
Text Marcel Dorney
Lyrics Jesse Rasmussen
Direction and Choreography Mat Sweeney, Sebastian Peters-Lazaro with Jesse Rasmussen

Esther Hannaford hannalore
Kevin Kiernan-Molloy priest
Emily Tomlins magda
Karen Sibbing zenzi
Benjamin Hoetjes henrik
Matt Crosby doktor
Lisa Salvo vocals, percussion
Ida Duelund Hansen double bass, vocals
Genevieve Fry harp, vocals
Adam Casey dulcimer, cumbus, guitar, banjo

Set and Properties Sebastian Peters-Lazaro with Ellen Strasser
Lighting Tom Willis
Costume Design Ellen Strasser
Stage Manager Lisette Drew

Presented by Malthouse Theatre, with support from Daniel and Danielle Besen and the Australia Council