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....

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Punctuating a show

The end of the third week of rehearsal. Two more to go.....

Yesterday afternoon we ran the whole piece for the first time. With sound; with lights. All very rough of course, but we managed. At the very least it enabled us to see the whole shape of the play more clearly. 

At this stage watching the show is like reading a page of a novel with all the punctuation missing, or in the wrong place. Plus some of the words jumbled up. Which means you get a general sense of what it's all about, but in a breathless, formless way. So now the job will be to put those punctuation marks in place; re-order things when necessary, and breathe sense and purpose into the narrative. 

Of course that's only part of the challenge, as there's also getting the cast used to working the technical side of things - the lights and sound and video controls which have now been moved backstage. As we do this the sound and light also become part of that exercise in punctuating -  part of helping us tell the story effectively.

Above we see Mairi Morrison (back to us) and Frances Merriman on set, and Mark Whitaker in marionette puppeteering position (lower photograph). 

Yesterday was also Helen Jackson's last day of working with Horse + Bamboo. Helen has been CEO of 5 years, and was the person who wrote the successful bids for the funding for 'Angus'. So, thank you Helen, and best wishes with the new job...

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