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....

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The home straight

I arrived back from a short but refreshing break in France and Portugal to find an opened package on my desk. Joanne B Kaar had sent me the grass boots she has made for our show. These are to be worn by Angus at the same time as the swallow-tail coat and sunburst hat (see previous blogs); more on this here

Alison, helped by Vanessa Card and Christina Eddowes, had been busy all week. Down in our theatre space the cloth-work for the set is beginning to take shape. Alison told me it was all taking her longer than she expected, and she still has a few days work to complete the job. However, she has prepared the cloth surfaces on the wheeled flats and so I've been able to start painting these. They are mobile flat screens that can be turned to create the garden of Craig Dunain, and this will allow a sudden transition from the pale colours of the island scenes to the colourful garden in which Angus started his weaving project.

No word from Daniella Orsini, our animator, or Loz Kaye, the Musical Director, who should be beginning to start their parts of the Angus jigsaw, and I'll need to follow these up. In fact there's any number of things that urgently need to be got underway - the Gaelic voiceovers, and the translations, for starters. 

Finally, I had a helpful email from Roger Hutchinson, who tells me (see the previous post) that there are photographs of Neil, Angus's father. Fortunately my mask isn't too different from the photograph Roger showed me, although my mask has a moustache, whereas Neil, in the photo, is clean-shaven. However the prominent moustache is an excellent way to identify Neil as he moves from being represented by a foot-high puppet to a masked performer so I'm inclined to keep it in, strict accuracy notwithstanding!

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