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....

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A 4am list

The fifth day of rehearsal. We continue from the beginning of the show, and reach the end of the second scene comfortably. It's the time to bring Mairi Morrison, who had to miss two days last week, fully into the ensemble - and it's a treat to hear her singing, which somehow immediately brings us closer to the islands. 

The third scene is more complex, with puppetry and masks alternating in quick succession, and Loz is unsure about how to approach it musically. But we solve this issue and are able to take timings so that Loz can now go and work this into a soundtrack. As usual, finding the puppetry narrative is a rough and tumble affair with lots of laughter, but this stage of plotting always leaves me feeling anxious. Despite having done it for well over 30 years I still seem to find it hard to accept that we can't come up with a polished version without the need to go through the stumbling and messiness that rehearsal - over and over again - necessarily entails.

So predictably I have a sleepless night, worrying about how the scenes we haven't yet looked at will work. Loz is away for two days so we're taking the time out to catch up with making jobs and beginning to look at some details. At 4 in the morning I start making a list of the untried things to try out. One silver lining is getting up at first light and seeing a handsome dog-fox moving across the field in front of the house...

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