A musical snapshot of Conservative Britain. This traditional requiem format forms the basis of a theatrical review, which is also a review of 17 years of Conservative rule. The words are selected from Simon Rae's weekly Saturday poems, which appeared for a decade in The Guardian, set in a variety of musical styles by Sue Casson.
‘Requiem – a gloriously imaginative, compulsively witty musical evocation of the ills of contemporary Britain, it uses a traditional requiem format to explore the plight of those cold-shouldered by
modern society.’ BIG ISSUE
The Rex Tremendae
‘King of tremendous majesty, who freely saves those worthy ones’,
a satire on the arms trade,
was featured on Radio 4’s
The Usual Suspects.
‘This all-singing (but no dancing) show is absolutely fabulous…put Requiem on your list of must sees.’ STAGE
Songs from REQUIEM were included in Albion Forlorn at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013.
The idea of using Rae's poems as the basis for writing a revue in the form of a Requiem was director Tom Blackmore’s.
Based on a Latin liturgy, the traditional requiem follows the progress of departed souls from the moment of death and mourning, through absolution to their final resting place in paradise, with each movement describing a different stage in the journey. In this revue the traditional requiem order has been tweaked, but nonetheless charts a journey, beginning with the Falklands War, through the money grabbing 80’s, and looks towards the possible paradise we have in prospect.
It is a requiem for jobs, homes and aspirations; for paternalism in the workplace; for the right to personal privacy - and collectively, for an understanding of what truly matters in a world where the relentless pursuit of commercialism seems to have overshadowed all other considerations.
First workshopped at Chiddingstone Castle in 1994, with the 2015 election of the first exclusively Conservative government in nearly 20 years, its' message seems extraordinarily prescient.
played at the Edinburgh and London Fringes in 1996.