A struggle for surivival
Matt Hartley's Eyam debuts at the Globe this summer, dramatising the true story of one village in the path of the plague and the extraordinary lengths they went to, cutting themselves off from the wider world in an attempt to battle the deadly disease.
Hartley gives us an insight into a place that has come to be known as The Village of the Damned. Through the eyes of newly installed Reverend William Mompesson, we discover the bitter power struggles between the villagers and the incumbent landowner whose manipulations and cruelty continued as the black death worked its way through their friends and loved ones indiscriminately.
It started with a bale of flea infested cloth delivered from London. In days the tailor's apprentice had died and a few more besides. Around them the countryside had not been so lucky, with many already dead in the outlying towns and villages. Looking to Rev. Mompesson for guidance, Eyam decided its civil responsibility was to isolate themselves and wait. Within 14 months, only 85 of 350 survived.