ANGUS MCPHEE - Weaver of Grass

ANGUS MCPHEE or MACPHEE was a crofter from Uist who spent almost 50 years in a Highland psychiatric hospital. During this time he chose not to speak - instead he wove a series of incredible costumes out of grass. These he hung on trees in the hospital grounds.

This blog follows the progress of HORSE + BAMBOO THEATRE as they develop and tour a show about Angus....

Saturday, 11 December 2010

What now?

This has been a busy period at Horse + Bamboo Theatre as we've been preparing for and rehearsing a new show for Christmas. This is now showing at our venue, the Boo, and the building has been packed each day with excited school groups and, in the evenings and at weekends, family audiences. It has meant that thinking about the implications of the news about funding for Angus has been put to one side

But next week we'll meet to look at where we are with all of this. We have an offer of £15,000 from the Foyle Foundation to start developing the project. On the other hand Creative Scotland have told us that they cannot contribute towards developing the show when our base is in England. Where that leaves us isn't entirely obvious. For one thing, we would be developing large sections of 'Angus' in Scotland, specifically on the Uists, and some of this will involve several Scottish artists making important creative contributions to the production. For another, the whole project is tied into various strands of work with Scottish partners - working with Theatre Hebrides, for example. 

So all of this needs to be teased out. Clearly the Foyle money is a major plus as it enables subsequent bids for funds to be put in the context of us already having a major part of the necessary support in place. We'll need to discuss going back to Creative Scotland on a different basis, and we'll also need to consider exactly what parts of the work can go ahead using the Foyle Foundation money. One obvious possibility will be that the timetable for the production will, once again, be changed in order to give us more time to put the changes into practice, and also to allow more time to go through the various funding processes. 

In the meantime, above is another photograph of Angus from Joyce Laings 'Weaver of Grass'. This, again by Jim Waugh, taken in 1978, of Angus weaving in the grounds of Craig Dunain Hospital.

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