In David Greig’s The Events, which premiered in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013, Catherine McClements plays an Anglican minister obsessed with trying to understand the actions of a young loner, played by Johnny Carr, who joins, then destroys, her choir.
Everyone else on stage in this production is a member of a local community choir and each puts an individual stamp on the performance.
“Working with the choirs is so beautiful,” says McClements. “Singing is a gift I don’t really have going for me and it’s been such a privilege to work with people who sing for the sheer love of it.”
“David Greig has written some of the songs but each choir can sing its own material, too,” McClements says. “We’ve heard everything from Beyoncé’s Single Ladies to Arabic classics to madrigals. The choir defines themselves through their songs.”
As well as singing, the choir also serves as witness. “The choir watches the show with the audience,” McClements explains.
“The audience develops this sense that they are also part of the choir, part of the community.”