A quiet, uncomfortable exploration of the lives of essential workers during the Great Plague of London. Unending isolation will make us ache.  Uncertainty will erode our ability to dream. Our very survival will be thrown into question.

Participants 3-5 including a GM

Time 3-4 hours

Language English

Age 15+

Reading amount 3 pages plus reference lists

Online Yes

  • Women In History

  • Pandemics

  • Grim

Preview

1665 London’s population swells uncontrolled. Houses jetty over the streets, blocking out the sky over the laneways of the poor. From the Thames to the city walls, rats from merchant ships introduce The Great Plague. Spreading hungrily, it will devour a quarter of the city’s souls.

You play poor, elderly women: pensioners living off the charity of the church. You have been pressed to serve as a Searcher of the Dead, assessing the living sick and the decaying dead to identify plague and invoke quarantine. Your life is isolated under constant threat of death, punishment and retribution.

This gritty kitchen sink drama helps us explore how pandemics diminish us: withholding joy, reducing our dreams, and revealing how labour defines our whole lives. You will unwind the ever-reducing story of your Searcher, and help construct scenes for others to do the same.

A Plague Among Us is set in pre-modern London, but it’s also about us, right now – about how everything has changed, but nothing has.

Participant type:

You:

  • Can sit in a character’s slowly increasing vulnerability without needing relief
  • Enjoy helping other players find their story by setting uncomfortable scenes and playing support characters to make them come alive
  • Are secure playing a scenario that might be uncomfortably close to the skin

Gamemaster type:

You:

  • Like to teach games to people, and support them in making a game sing.
  • Like to play along with them, and bring your own story to the table.
  • Have a screen that you can bring to show the players a video before play
  • Can read and run in English