Shows E

hear their bells. I could see the people going to Church. I couldn't do it. I couldn't give them another Eyam." Act Two By now there are many freshly dug graves and the children of Eyam are playing amongst the piles of earth. They carry out a mock burial using Humphrey, the youngest, as a corpse. Mompesson arrives and tells them to get away from the graves (Have You No Pity?). They run off. As Mompesson comforts Humphrey he finds hope in the child's bravery (Look at That Smile). Rowland is waiting for Emmot up on the moor. But she is not there. We see her in her cottage with Sarah. Emmot is desperate to go to Rowland but she has a high fever and is in a lot of pain. She is dying. Sarah tries to comfort her but there is nothing she can do. Finally Rowland arrives at the cottage but it is too late. Emmot is dead. Despite Sarah's pleas, he holds Emmot in his arms (Emmot's Death). He will now have to stay in the village himself. It is dusk in the graveyard and Marshall has arrived with another cartload of bodies. He is tired and has been drinking. He talks to the bodies, telling them they are too heavy for him (Sumonyers-Gorragerroff!) - a grim comedy number. At the end of the song he sneezes and starts to shiver. Joan and Billy are at the boundaries of Eyam, on their way to Ashover. Billy asks why Marshall is not with them and Joan tells him that Marshall is ill. Billy is furious that she has left him to die alone. Back in Eyam the Church bells suddenly begin to ring. It is Shrovetide. Sarah says that they should celebrate the day as they always do, that they cannot just spend their lives waiting to die. Mompesson arrives and supports her. The other villagers are amazed that they should be expected to sing and dance but then someone suggests The Tup. They all agree. Mompesson does not understand what is happening but is relieved that they seem to be following his suggestion. The Tup turns out to be a traditional Mummers Play that the villagers act out on the forecourt of the pub. The centre piece of the play is a ram's skull and the play is both celebratory and macabre. At the end of it they pull Mompesson into the middle of the action which becomes threatening and surreal. The villagers' motives become clear - they have performed the play not to please Mompesson but to frighten him. Suddenly Joan and Billy arrive. They are both injured and Billy collapses. Joan explains that they got as far as Stoney Middleton but they were recognised and beaten up. The people of Eyam are furious with her for betraying their agreement to stay but Mompesson intervenes and points out that she has suffered enough already. He also says that this proves that they no longer have a choice about whether to stay or not - the surrounding villages will clearly not let them leave. Finally loan is left alone tending Billy and regretting her decision to leave (It Was My Choice). The Church services are now being held outside to lessen the risk of infection. After Mompesson has read out a list of all those who have died during the previous week, the congregation disperses leaving only Matthew and Sarah. Sarah asks Matthew where his wife is. He tells her she is dead. Sarah tries to comfort him but Matthew says that Eyam is no place for caring (At Night). Sarah leaves and Matthew thinks about his wife. One by one Mompesson, loan, Woodman, Rowland, Katherine and Sarah arrive and each reflect on what they have been through (Where Do You Turn?). Suddenly Billy interrupts them with the news that Marshall is alive and well and ready for a quart of ale. Katherine is much cheered by Marshall's recovery and feels that perhaps the end of the plague is in sight. Mompesson is surprised at her optimism. But she tells him not to worry - "Marshall's alive, you're alive, the children are safely tucked up, and it's a beautiful evening. The air smells so sweet . . ." We have learnt earlier that the air smelling sweet is the first symptom of the plague. Before they can take in the implications of what she has just said Marshall arrives carrying loan's body. Marshall is devastated and lays the corpse at Mompesson's feet. He blames Mompesson for her death and begins to hit him, again and again. He finally leaves, telling Mompesson, 1f you knew what it's like to lose your wife . . ." Katherine tends Mompesson's wounds and tries to come to terms with what will happen to her (Did I Tell a Lie? - reprise). She then leaves to see her children. Mompesson rages in his desperation. He cannot understand why God should take her life. He is losing his faith (In the Wilderness). Meanwhile, the people of Eyam are waiting for him. They need his leadership more than ever. Rowland and Marshall find Mompesson, who by now is lost in grief. He has no sense of purpose and even