A Little Book of Monsters promises 'good, honest, wicked, disrespectful attitude'
The family concert will also feature excerpts from Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes
‘I thought he was the funniest man I’d ever met,’ recalls composer Stephen Deazley of the first time he was introduced to writer Matt Harvey. Deazley later found himself laughing out loud to Harvey’s poetry, attracting some odd looks in an Edinburgh café, and knew he’d found the perfect lyricist for his work.
‘Neither of us is interested in squeaky clean children’s literature or art,’ says Deazley, ‘or things that grown-ups ascribe to children in terms of what they think they’ll like. We both try, as much as we can in our mid-40s, to get inside the heads of nine- and ten-year-olds.
The first time Deazley and Harvey ventured into the mind of the average primary school child, they came up with The Songbook of Unsingable Songs. Now they’re back with an equally bizarre set of songs, based on group of monsters Harvey has dreamed up. ‘But not regular ones,’ says Deazley, ‘really snotty ones, horrible grim ones, monsters that do grizzly things.’
The duo’s new creation, A Little Book of Monsters will be performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and sung by over 250 children from nine primary schools across Edinburgh which Deazley has pulled together into ‘a giant chorus’.
Following a day of free monster-themed family activities, the piece itself will form part of a wider bill featuring Paul Patterson’s setting of two Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl, a section of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, and an additional piece by Deazley and Harvey entitled 'The Hideous Bloat'.
‘A good, honest, wicked, disrespectful attitude in terms of work for children persists across the whole event,’ says Deazley, ‘which I thoroughly approve of.’
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 9 Feb.