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The Masque of the Red Death – short film

The Masque of the Red Death

The Masque of the Red Death is a short film created in 2006 by Misagh Alami as part of a theatre play of the same title. It is an adaptation of the classic short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The story follows Prince Prospero’s attempts to avoid a dangerous plague, known as the Red Death.

The 10 minute short film, which screened at the very beginning of the live performance, starts off with a narration by Sam Holland, taken directly from the adapted short story:

The red death had long devastated the world. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its avatar and its seal: the redness and the horror of blood.

Followed by seven characters playing the embodiment of the seven deadly sins:

  1. Lust
  2. Gluttony
  3. Greed
  4. Sloth
  5. Wrath
  6. Envy
  7. Pride

In the classic Masque of the Red Death tale by Poe, these seven deadly sins are prominent in acts, symbolism, and plot. The rooms and their colours are closely connected with the sins. And the parts in life the characters, specifically Prospero, go through. From the beginning of the deadly plague, to the end of it, Prospero partakes in these stages and sins until death catches him.

The Masque of the Red Death - short film
A first-year theatre student production from early 2006. Certainly a product of its time.

The play was performed at Coventry University during 2006 as part of the first-year student course Theatre and Professional Practice.

The performance consisted of the young creative artists Paul Watkins, Kirsty Wilton-Lee, Claire Renwick, Stephanie Forster, Ben Lloyd Roberts, Emma Holmes, Danielle Gold, and Misagh Alami.


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