Pitlochry Festival Theatre announces it will close its Summer Season with the Première of Jo Clifford and Lesley Orr’s The Covid Requiem, a beautiful and poignant new promenade production commissioned by the theatre, which will see a ceremony performed, from the 15-18 September, to mourn and celebrate the stories and lives of those lost during the pandemic.
Performed in Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s beautiful gardens and its amphitheatre, The Covid Requiem will not only encompass the collective experience of these times, but it will also allow audience members to bring the names of their loved ones with them so that they can be read aloud and commemorated by the audience, and finally help them on the massive journey they face to make sense of what has happened, together.
Playwright Jo Clifford said “My brother Tony died towards the end of 2019, and I was asked to write and deliver his eulogy at his funeral. It made me aware of how important it is for someone’s story to be told and to be witnessed after their death.
“I looked after my wife during the six months she was dying of a brain tumour in 2003, and I remember so well how incredibly important it was for us to make sure one of us was with her all the time so that she did not die alone.
“So that during the first lockdown in spring of last year, I felt very deeply for those families who could not be with their loved ones as they lay dying in isolation; and who then were unable to hold proper funerals to mourn their death.
“It seemed to me then, and seems to me now, that there is a massive amount of grief, grief that is, as it were, held collectively without ever having been given proper expression or the chance to fully heal.
“All my plays, and especially The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven, have an important spiritual dimension and function as rituals.
“So, it occurred to me that theatre could have an important part to play in beginning the process of healing; and I approached Elizabeth Newman with the idea of such a thing happening in Pitlochry.
“I am so glad she agreed and put me in touch with Lesley Orr. Lesley’s personal experience of bereavement, her deep roots in the social activism and spirituality of the Iona Community in Scotland and her extensive experience with people recovering from trauma all make her the perfect collaborator.
“To create this ritual in the beauty of the Pitlochry gardens, and to work with the beautiful traditional music of Duncan Chisholm and Innes Watson, is going to make this an incredibly special experience, we feel.”
The Covid Requiem is directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Associate Director Amy Liptrott and features music from Duncan Chisholm, one of Scotland’s most recognised and accomplished fiddle players and composers and the multi-instrumentalist Innes Watson.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre is keeping things flexible so audiences can too. They will honour no-hassle refunds and exchanges for any reason (including the weather!) if it is requested at least 24hours before the performance time. So, audiences can book for summer with the confidence that if plans change, their tickets and money can too!
The Pitlochry Festival Theatre production of The Covid Requiem will premiere from the 15-18 September at 2pm & 7pm. For tickets (limited capacity) and further information, visit www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com