I'm back after a week's half-term break in Dorset, during which time I mulled over the current script in the light of the work Alison and I had done the previous week, when we erected a (very) temporary stage and looked at the setting for the production. It's always far easier for me to picture how a script will work once a staging layout has been clarified.
As a result a number of significant changes have been made - clarifying the filmed and animated sections; adding a large horse puppet at two important parts of the story; changing a 'story within a story' section in order to help the narrative; and adding some new visual twists and turns. I discussed this new version with Alison this morning and I've now sent off copies to our main collaborators.
Alison has tonsillitis and went home early, preparing to think about the Rashin Coatie story we're incorporating into the show. She clearly had been doing some research because within a few hours she sent me a link to another blog - http://grasspuppet.blogspot.com/ (which unfortunately seems to have dried up in 2008). The blog was written by Jumaadi, an Indonesian living in Australia whose father taught him how to make puppets from grass when he was 6:
During this period Esther travelled north, meeting Joyce Laing once more at the Art Extraordinary Gallery in Pittenweem, Fife, and further discussing how we can use Joyce's knowledge of Angus and her collection of his work; as well as the possibility of using her voice as a 'narrator' within the show. Esther also saw the National Theatre of Scotland's 'The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart' which she raved about, and visited The Maltings in Berwick-Upon-Tweed. All this in the course of developing contacts and links for a potential tour of the Angus show.