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The Plague

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All remaining performances of The Plague are sold out. You can join the waiting list for returns by phoning or visiting the box office from 12.30pm on the day of the performance you’d like to see. Find out more »

“April 29th; lunchtime. Found Mr Michel in the street outside the apartment. Walk unsteady. Eyes unnaturally bright.”

Dr Rieux is noticing things. A rat on the stairs, where it has no right to be. A sore throat becoming a fever. The first signs of panic. It all amounts to a troubling diagnosis… so what’s the cure?

The Plague is Albert Camus’ electrifying story about living through a time of crisis and fighting back against despair.

Written in the aftermath of the Nazis’ march across Europe, it struck a powerful chord with millions struggling to understand the fascist ‘plague’ that had just overwhelmed them.

Now, seventy years later, multi-award-winning director Neil Bartlett (Or You Could Kiss Me, National Theatre; Stella, LIFT) retells Camus’ classic for our own dangerous times. His frank and gripping new stage adaptation puts chaos under the microscope, and plants the germ of hope in the power of our common humanity.

★★★★ Ingenious update of Camus' chilling fable... a striking production
—The Guardian
★★★★ Grippingly beautiful ... Albert Camus's dark parable brought devastatingly into the modern age
—The Telegraph
★★★★ What a story ... Camus made chilling and contemporary
—Evening Standard
★★★★ Bartlett's master-stroke is to present the story in such a spare, minimalist fashion that it is seems to be applicable to everything from Ebola to Syria and Brexit.
—The Independent
★★★★ Stark and swift, it makes uncompromising viewing
—The Times
★★★★ Bartlett's production has an itchy urgency that both grips and unsettles
★★★★ All five actors are exceptional
—The Sunday Times
★★★★ Not to be missed
—The Upcoming
★★★★ Stark and powerful
—Reviews Gate
★★★★ Unforgettable ... you emerge into the bustle of East London encouraged
—Libby Purves
★★★★ A vital piece of theatre that breathes new life into a still relevant text – a must-see production
—Mind The Blog
★★★★ Stylish, haunting and deeply theatrical
—Carole Woddis
★★★★ Brings forth the power and poetry of the original novel which is still so relevant today.
—Theatre Full Stop
Compelling ... irrefutably resonant metaphor for contemporary, post-Brexit Britain
—The Stage
Sharp, direct and tears right to the heart of the story ... one of the most thought-provoking and timely pieces of theatre that London has seen for years.
—Hackney Citizen
Hidden gem ... Ferocious simplicity and pared choices make for an absorbing evening
—Fringe Review
A clear and punchy retelling of the story, which feels both contemporary and carries a kind of afterglow of the original book
—Aleks Sierz
Intense and thoughtful
—Traffic Light Theatregoer


Joseph Alessi


Burt Caesar


Billy Postlethwaite


Sara Powell

Dr Rieux

Martin Turner



after La Peste by Albert Camus


Neil Bartlett


Neil Bartlett

Lighting Design

Jack Weir

Sound Design

Dinah Mullen

Company Stage Manager

Sarah Julie Pujol

Production Manager

Ben Karakashian

Costume Supervisor

Gillian Allright


Liz Hyder

A production by Arcola Theatre.


Best £22 (£19 conc, £17 previews)
Standard £20 (£17 conc, £15 previews)
Value £16 (£14 conc, £12 previews)
Restricted £12 (£10 previews)

Tickets are £10 or less with Arcola Passport.

Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm.
Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 3pm.
No performances Sunday.

Contains gunshots, a reference to self-harm, and scenes that some may find distressing. If you would like any further information, please contact the box office on 0207 503 1646 (Monday – Saturday 12.30pm – 6pm).

Preview pricing: 5 - 8 April
Press night: 11 April
Post-show Q&A with Neil Bartlett and company: 13 April
Supporters' social: 14 April
Jeannie's Theatre Conversations: 15 April after the matinee

Pay What You Can Tuesdays – limited allocation of tickets available in person, each Tuesday from 6pm. More info »
Group /school rates (for 10+ people) available. Contact Box Office »

Running time: 85 minutes approximately .

This production contains:
Loud noises
Suitable for 14+