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....

Sunday, 20 October 2013


The 2013 tour of Scotland with Angus - Weaver of Grass has just ended, and the company are now heading south for shows in Oxford and London.

"Exceptional piece of theatre!! Well worth watching - thought-provoking all the way through" 17.10.13

I've spent just a couple of weeks with the tour, spread over two months, so I've only experienced a small part of life on the road with the show. But everywhere I went, at least, I was astonished by the warmth of the audiences and the positive reactions to, and interest in, our show. The audiences were usually large - we've often commented that arriving at a hall stuck seemingly on its own in a remote location, with hardly a dwelling in site, it's hard at first to picture where an audience would come from, let alone have one. Then, 30 minutes before the show is advertised one or two people arrive, and these are followed by strings of cars arriving from all directions and, with 5 minutes to go, the hall has miraculously filled to capacity. 

"Totally stunning, with a richness that depicted an extraordinary life, an amazing gift, while at the same time revealing the pain of mental illness. It was also a story of a sister's love and of coming home - wonderful - breathtaking." 18.10.13

The performing team have been unfailingly impressive too. Remaining cheerful even when confronted by those moment-to-moment problems that inevitably emerge when you're trying to fit a large and complex show into a new space every few days. Touring is tough - long days and nights; unable to get home for weeks on end; surviving on a diet of macaroni cheese pies and sweeties, and so it's good to see a group making the best of it. 

"All produced in a manner, with a reflectiveness, worthy of its subject, much to ponder and much from which to take heart." 18.10.13

Thanks also to Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig for the support they've given us and their faith in 'Angus', and to the promoters and venues throughout Scotland that have welcomed the show to their spaces. My impression is that they were seldom left disappointed. 

"Poignant, beautiful and very emotive. A fantastic production." 18.10.13

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