Simon Robson

Simon Robson trained as an actor and wrote initially for the theatre. His first play The Ghost Train Tattoo was premiered in 2000 at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester – the theatre where he spent the majority of his acting career, and where his many roles included Higgins in Shaw’s Pygmalion and Elyot Chase in Coward’s Private Lives. His most recent acting work was the in the Olivier-nominated Folk at Hampstead Theatre. In prose his collection of short stories, The Separate Heart (Cape, 2007) was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor prize and was second in the Edgehill Award. This was followed by a novel, Catch, (Cape, 2010).

As a writer he has a great interest in collaborating with musicians, including writing narrative and dramatic programmes for ensembles such as Ex Cathedra, the Belgian early music group Vox Luminis and the French baroque orchestra Les Arts Florissants for which he wrote an adaptation of Purcell’s Indian Queen. In 2018 the opera Schoenberg in Hollywood, for which he wrote the libretto, was premiered by Boston Lyric Opera, with music by Tod Machover. It was revived at the Volksoper in Vienna last year. He and Tod are about to begin work on a new opera together, an adaptation of Richard Powers’ The Overstory.

As well as writing, Simon also teaches the piano in London where he lives with his wife and two teenage sons. This is his third year as an RLF Fellow – after a year at De Monfort University and Goldsmith’s.


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