|The Beginning of Time|
|Author||MANKTELOW, Roger - Other Plays by this Author - Contact Author|
|Synopsis||During the Black Death, one village has been totally unaffected by plague. The Catchpole’s, an ambitious local family, have taken over the unworked lands of the dead, forcing the villagers to work them, turning the village into a tyrannical place.
Chad, a religious charismatic, tries to understand why they, uniquely, have been saved. He concludes that they have been spared to save other sinners. Out of this develops a vicious new religion, where sin has to be physically cut out with knives. The village becomes divided between the two camps until the ‘miracle of the well’.
Whilst in quarantine, Richard Catchpole discovers the reason the well became dry. The local landowner had diverted a stream. He quickly re-diverts it. Instead of informing the village of this, Susan Catchpole, the driving force in the family, awaits events. When the ‘miracle’ occurs, she and her family convert to Chad’s new religion, thereby uniting the village under their joint control.
As opportunity grows so does ambition. With the village secured they turn their sights on the local city. They intend to sell their produce at grossly inflated prices, the Catchpoles for their own profit, Chad to win souls. The citizenry are hostile. Susan is brought before a magistrate. She however turns this to her advantage. She plays on his hunger persuading him to drop the charges and also to grant her title to Montague’s lands and possessions.
After this the Catchpoles no longer need Chad or his religion, which has become very unpopular. They get rid of him thereby increasing their own popularity and their chances of getting away with things, once normality returns. Richard and Peter have however become drunk with power, they use the religion to their own advantage. This forces Susan’s hand, she has them arrested and executes her brother, using the methods of the religion.
Through this she succeeds in cowing the city but, having done so, she cannot be seen to be profiting from the situation. She lives the life of a nun, handing control of the religion over to the citizens, thereby implicating them in any excesses. In the process she becomes seen to be a saintly character, the saviour of the city.
Having finally redeemed herself she can safely return home and enjoy her new found wealth. But, as she announces her departure, she is bitten by a flea and dies of the plague shortly after returning home.
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5F (minimum 8)|
|Status||Available for performance|
|Available on ScriptCircle: (for other licences please contact the Author)|
|Amateur Performance||Up to 600 seats. EEC Countries.||£10.00 per performance|
New playwright, ex radar technician, social worker and manager of a small charity. Aged 60 living in Sheffield currently a semi-retired voluntary worker and writer of historical dramas, three so far.
'The Sword of Anathema' concerning the 11th Century Investiture Dispute.
'The Beginning of Time' a study of opportunism during the Black Death.
'The Book of Recipes' about the Renaissance Italian 'Virago' Katerina Sforza.
I am also a member of Script Yorkshire.