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....

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The first day of rehearsal... always a day of mixed emotions. The great thing is when performers who have worked together over many years, but who have perhaps not seen one another for a long time, re-meet and share their stories - telling of adventures and tribulations since the last meeting, and much else. Then there's the opportunity for everyone to discover the new set, the masks, the puppets, the props...all the new stuff of the new show, sitting there, full of potential.

But then things get down to business - starting by trying on costume, rejecting some things and laughingly accepting others. Quickly the stage gets full of discarded clothes, un-padded masks and possible props. In this unfamiliar space no-one knows where anything should go so everything deteriorates quickly into a formless mess. 

Still, yesterday we managed to find time to look at the main 'puppet' scene, which tells the story of Angus's growing up by using Alison's newly carved hand puppets - all as yet un-costumed and unpainted. We also saw a tantalising clip of projected film (wonderful) and heard occasional snatches of Loz's music (also wonderful). 

Today Mairi Morrison joins us and the group is complete. More puppets, more music....

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