Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British-themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, British Isles Friday featured posters for the upcoming film version of Macbeth shared by Sim at her Chapter 1 – Take 1 blog. Heather shared her photos of the Hampton Court grounds the previous week — last week we got to see the inside of Hampton Court. Heather also reviewed The Outlander King, a historical novel set during the Norman Conquest.
Title: One Flea Spare by Naomi Wallace
Date: Premiered in London’s Bush Theatre in October 1995
Summary: In 1665 London, Mr. and Mrs. Snelgrave are just about to complete their 28 day quarantine after the deaths of their servants from Plague. They are desperate to escape to the relative safety of the English countryside. But, disaster strikes in the form of a sailor and a girl who sneak into the boarded-up house believing that it’s abandoned. The 28 days of quarantine begin anew, now with the uncomfortable and yet, oddly entertaining addition of two strangers in the household.
Thoughts: The set for this production was minimalist, but the acting, script, and costumes transported me to 1665 London, sharing the terror, tedium, and gallows humor of one of the most devastating events in England. I was fascinated by the mentions of fire in this play, presaging a second devastation in as many years — The Great Fire that burned much of London in early September, 1666. The Great Plague and the Great Fire were covered extensively in the Museum of London, where we visited on our first full day in the city.
Appeal: I enjoyed this play for its setting, naturally, but I was in a party of four and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I think it will appeal to anyone who likes a play that is challenging in its subject matter and varied in its emotional range.
One Flea Spare had several high profile productions in the 1990s and, translated, is permanently in the repertoire of the French National Theater. With its 5-person cast and single set, this play seems to have some popularity among small theater companies. I got a kick out of discovering a Pinterest board by someone working on the look of a production.
Have you seen One Flea Spare?