“... worth seeing for its non-traditional format”
The White Plague places its audience in a world where humans are, one by one, losing their sight. These people are quarantined and see nothing but white. During the production, this is represented by the white eye masks each audience member wears for most of the show.
I’ve seen theatre in the dark, but never theatre in white, which was accented by the bright white lighting that punctuated the space we were sat in. The action of the play unfolded much like a radio drama, complete with clever use of foley and movement around the room. Each of the cast members had an engaging vocal character: from the warmth of the doctor’s wife to a young British woman who spoke with such natural rhythms it felt like she was directly in conversation with us.
The writing was well-contained – this extreme event of mass blindness serving as an apt metaphor for our contemporary world where the blindness is perhaps not literal, but a choice in terms of what we choose to see (or not). The conclusion of the play was a little disappointing however. Prior to this point, both the writing and performances did a fine job of exploring how each of the characters was affected by the plague, and then making us wonder what would happen to them next; the sudden and complete resolution in the last minutes of the play seemed a little too easy.
The White Plague is bold in its experimentation with the immersive form, playing with many of the senses including sight, sound, and smell. This is a company who clearly work well together as an ensemble and have a strong understanding of non-visual storytelling. The White Plague is a production worth seeing for those who enjoy theatre delivered in a non-traditional format.
The White Plague
Presented by Ferodo Bridges
Written & directed by Alexander Raptotasios
BOX OFFICE www.landorspace.com/white-plague
Sepy Baghaei is a theatre director originally from Sydney, Australia. She runs independent theatre company Suitcase Civilians, which produces internationally touring work. Sepy holds an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. @sepy_b