Since then, Casson has written songs for Rae’s satirical reworking of
The Life & Times of President Ubu Oxford OFS and Edinburgh Fringe
and two children’s shows -
The Pirate,The Potato and the Camel, not forgetting the Parrot, (2007) and The Pirate and The Potato... in Space. (2008)
Simon Rae is a poet, playwright and librettist, as well as an
award-winning biographer and broadcaster. Winner of the
National Poetry Prize and recipient of a Southern Arts Bursary,
he runs his own touring theatre company Top Edge Productions.
Sue Casson and Simon Rae first worked together at the Edinburgh Fringe, where alongside him, Bill Wallis and Willie Rushton, Casson sang adaptations of his poems at the piano between readings in Singing the News and Hitting the Fan.
‘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.’
‘This all-singing (but no dancing) show is absolutely fabulous…put Requiem on your list of must sees.’ STAGE
Researching the traditional Requiem movements, Casson coupled them with subjects she felt could be loosely associated, and set them to toe-tapping tunes. So the Requiem Aeternam evoked victims of the Falklands war, whilst the Liber Scriptus (‘all our sins are an open book....’) looked at the tabloid press.
REQUIEM was workshopped at Chiddingstone Castle in 1994, and played in Edinburgh and London two years later, with Delroy Atkinson, Abi Blackmore, John Herriman, Laurence Taylor and Casson in the cast of 5. The Rex Tremendae ‘King of tremendous majesty, who freely saves those worthy ones’ was featured on Radio 4’s The Usual Suspects.
Their present collaboration is a Masque based on the myth of Persephone. A section was premiered as part of the Arcola's Grimeborn Opera series in 2007, and when schedules permit, it will be finished!
Songs from both REQUIEM and Persephone were included in Albion Forlorn at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013.
‘foot tapping fiddle music...(and) catchy all-cast numbers’. STAGE.
‘excellent songs’ DAILY INFORMATION
Rex Tremendae Edinburgh Festival cast. Soloist Laurence Taylor
The idea of using Rae's weekly Saturday Guardian poem as the basis for writing a revue of the Thatcher years in the form of a Requiem was director Tom Blackmore’s.
'A lively slice of off-beat entertainment' THE LIST