Edinburgh cathedral hosts Covid Requiem, offering a chance to remember lives lost to the pandemic

Performance is an opportunity for reflection and remembrance

A performance being staged in Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral will give people a chance to reflect on and remember lives lost to the pandemic. The Covid Requiem, put together by playwright Jo Clifford and historian and activist Lesley Orr, takes place on Thursday and Friday, November 10 and 11, at 7pm at the cathedral in Palmerston Place.

First performed outdoor at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre last year, the requiem has evolved and will include excerpts from the much-loved Fauré’s Requiem, sung by the 30-member strong choir of St Mary’s Cathedral, conducted by director of the music Duncan Ferguson.

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During the performance, Jo Clifford and Lesley Orr will invite members of the audience to share names of and stories of those whose lives have been lost to Covid. As well as an act of remembrance, the Covid Requiem also asks questions about why the pandemic, which was often heralded as a great leveller, saw ‘”the heaviest burdens loaded on to the backs of those who have the least”.

Jo Clifford said: “So many people lost loved ones during the pandemic, and so many people are still doing so. It matters more than ever to create rituals that give voice to people's grief and rage, and that create public spaces for collective mourning. It's wonderful that St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Traverse are joining forces to allow this to happen. The beauty of the cathedral, the beauty of the music, and the depth of shared emotion will make this a profound and moving experience.”

The Rev Marion Chatterly, vice-provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, said: “The cathedral is delighted to be able to partner with the Traverse Theatre and to host this important work. The juxtaposition of text and music, performed within the spectacular setting of our cathedral, promises an experience that won’t easily be forgotten.” Tickets are available on the Traverse Theatre website.

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The Covid Requiem will be performed in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place, on Thursday and Friday, November 10 and 11, at 7pm.