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, 7 August 2012

A short breather for the cast

The first leg of the Angus - Weaver of Grass tour is over. 

The last show was on Sunday evening at the Pittenweem Festival, in Fife. Like so many of the halls we have played in on this leg it was far from being a well-equipped theatre. The blackout was limited; the stage too small; the facilities almost non-existent. But this was more than made up by the friendliness and enthusiasm of the helpers and the palpable excitement surrounding the event. The hall was full and the reception - once more - was wildly enthusiastic. Many people had travelled long distances to see the show, and commented how worthwhile it had been making the journey. Plenty of people were in tears at the end, and I heard many comments similar to 'Amazing, I've never seen anything like it before', or 'The best thing that I've seen for ages'.

The short trailer for the show is now up on You Tube:

One of the special things about the Pittenweem show was that Joyce Laing was in the audience, since she lives in the village and her Art Extraordinary Gallery is on its High Street. Joyce, as anyone who has followed this blog will know, is responsible for us all knowing about Angus MacPhee - and hence for the existence of our play. 

Joyce was very warm about the production, and invited us all to her castle (yes, she lives in a wee castle next to the gallery) for a drink afterwards. It's in the nature of these tours that after the show is over, and the last of the audience have drifted away, there are still a good few hours work left for the company - and of course Pittenweem was no exception. So I helped with the dismantling and packing away process for half an hour or so, and then went along to Joyce's castle as the sole representative of Horse + Bamboo, since the others still had another hour of work to do. There, over a large dram, we discussed the show and Angus, and the state of theatre, and the wonderful cast, with Joyce and a couple of her friends, Jane and Gordon.

So now its a well earned week of rest for Jonny, Frances, Mairi and Mark, before we take the show to Edinburgh for the Festival - we're at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, right at the heart of the Royal Mile. Please join us there!

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