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....

Friday, 11 February 2011


This is the (very) rough set Alison and I have created in our workshop. We've done this in order  to work out the heights and levels we'll need as playing areas, and from that in turn we've worked out what size of puppets we'll need to make. In the course of doing this we were also able to decide on a number of other things - so the upper level (above the bar) will be a crawl floor which will enable us to operate marionettes from that level; equally we liked this unbleached, stained, fabric quality (Anselm Kiefer again). Each of the cloths can act as a screens for projections, film and lights, so much of the eventual colour we use in the production will achieved through the use of light and projection.

The whole exercise was an excuse, too, to go through the script and look at, in a very broad brush-stroke way, how the story would unfold on a stage. Doing this, a number of things were - as ever - changed, or added to. 

As a result of this work we have been able to prioritise the jobs we'll start on (next week). Alison on a puppet of Angus as a boy and a similar 'sister' puppet. I'll start making three masks representing Angus - one as a handsome young man, one in middle-age, and one as an old man. I'll also be able to send the dimensions of the set to Chris Spears on Berneray so he can create the wood frames that will enable us to reproduce this rough, full-size, 'model' set in the Community Hall on the island. The other piece of news was hearing, last night, that the hall committee have agreed to hire us their hall for a week in May.

No comments:

Post a Comment