Angus - Weaver of Grass started with a small booklet sent to Bob Frith by Chris Spears, an old friend who lives on Berneray, in the Western Isles of Scotland.
The booklet told the story of the life and work of a crofter, Angus MacPhee, who grew up in Eochar, South Uist, and went to war in 1939. He was invalided out of the army before seeing active service, ultimately spending 50 years as an elective mute in Craig Dunain, the psychiatric hospital outside of Inverness.
Joyce Laing, a pioneering art therapist, ‘discovered’ Angus in the 1970s at Craig Dunain. Joyce was interested in ‘outsider’ or extraordinary art made by non-professional artists. In Angus’ case he had utilised the Hebridean craft of making rope from grass and developed it in previously unheard of ways, constructing elaborate costumes from grass and leaves he found in the hospital grounds.
This production tells Angus’ story using masks, puppets and film. There is almost no dialogue, and the non-verbal nature of the production mirrors Angus’ own lack of words. The story unfolds using Gaelic narrative and song.
Angus – Weaver of Grass toured throughout the Islands and Highlands during the summer of 2012. The show will have a second tour in late summer and the autumn of 2013.
writer, designer, director, maskmaker: Bob Frith
puppet director / maker: Alison Duddle
music director: Loz Kaye
lighting / film: Christine Eddowes
weavings: Joanne B Kaar