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Monday, 15th April 2019

“Ten Plagues” to premiere at Drogheda Arts Festival

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Visual artists Declan Kelly and Els Boghart, recipients of the Drogheda Arts Festival Commission 2019, bring the superb Belfast Ensemble to perform a musical masterpiece “Ten Plagues” on Sunday 5th May as part of Drogheda Arts Festival 2019. Photo: Jenny Matthews.

Music and visual arts collaboration uses the Great Plague to discuss 80’s AIDS crisis

Local artists Declan Kelly and Els Boghart and their colleagues in The Belfast Ensemble have been awarded the Drogheda Arts Festival Commission 2019 and their exciting music and visual arts collaboration entitled “Ten Plagues” will premiere at the Drogheda Arts Festival next month. 

Collette Farrell of the Drogheda Arts Festival said: “The Drogheda Arts Festival Commission is awarded to local professional artists to support the development of new work. We held an open call for submissions last summer and spent the autumn reviewing and shortlisting until we finally selected The Belfast Ensemble.” 

Festival Co-Chair, Elaine Cronin, continues “We want the Drogheda Arts Festival to act as a catalyst for the creation of new work. We reintroduced the Arts Festival Commission last year which was awarded to Quintessence Theatre Company for the creation of The Star of Chester’s Lane which was a huge success. This year’s awardees The Belfast Ensemble bring a new and ambitious musical experience, Ten Plagues, to the Drogheda Arts Festival.” 

Tracing one man's journey through a city in crisis, Ten Plagues charts the great plague of 1665. Part torch song, part Schubert, this ground-breaking piece of music-theatre was written by composer Conor Mitchell and playwright Mark Ravenhill. This award-winning work uses the Great Plague to talk about the AIDS crisis of the 1980’s. 

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For the Drogheda Arts Festival Ten Plagues will be adapted to the local region. This collaboration between writers, musicians and artists will link to the great plague entering the island through the port of Drogheda. Artists Els Borghart and Declan Kelly will create an entire new visual experience for the performance. 

Els and Declan, artists who live and work in Drogheda, are inspired by their world travel and collaboration with other artists. The backdrop of the north east with beaches, forests and urban landscapes inspire their stunningly beautiful and experimental artworks. 

Drogheda Arts Festival, generously supported by Louth County Council and The Arts Council, will feature two performances of Ten Plagues on Sunday 5th May (5.00pm and 9.00pm) at the Droichead Arts Centre.

Tickets are priced at €18.00 and €16.00 and are expected to sell out fast so early booking is recommended. Book at the Droichead Arts Centre, by phone 041 9833946 or on

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