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In May

Video & Production Design

In May, by German writer and producer Frank Alva Buecheler, takes the form of a series of letters from a son to a father. Each has been set to music by the renowned musician, singer and leader of the pop group The Divine Comedy, Neil Hannon, to form a contemporary music theatre piece in 24 songs.

The letters cover the last months of a man in the advanced stages of cancer, and undergoing a period of chemotherapy. He has sent everyone in his life away – his father, his lover – and we are left to puzzle, as they must: for what reason?

The result is a moving and at times funny meditation in song: on life, family, fathers and sons, and the perspective that an awareness of death might bring to our sense of the beauty and fragility of the world.

Featuring Neil Hannon’s trademark music, stunning digital images and live string ensemble, this is a first trial performance before further development.


Original text: Frank Alva Buecheler

English Translation: Tim Clarke

Music/arrangement: Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy)

Direction: Matt Fenton (Live at LICA)

Design/Digital projections: Simon Wainwright (imitating the dog)

Ensemble: Fredrik Holm (piano), The Ligeti Quartet (strings), Leentje Van de Cruys (vocals)

Photographs: Tamsin Drury