O monstrous! O strange!
February 2020 - February 2021
A research and development project for a film by Adam Castle.
Funded by Creative Scotland.
A 12-month research and development project resulting in a script for a new film (and possibly performance) inspired by Shakespeare characters and Scottish sites.
O monstrous! O strange!, is a quote from Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. The play is globally significant, yet has connections to two Scottish sites – Puck’s Glen and Stirling Castle.
Puck’s Glen, a forge in Cowal, is named after the fairy character Puck. The year before A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream was written there was a plan for a lion to pull a chariot through Stirling Castle. This was cancelled due to fear of scaring people and in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream there is a line about a one of the character’s being too scary if dressed as a lion. It is thought that this is a joke referencing the incident at Stirling Castle.
The play’s characters of Puck and Lion can be seen as outsiders: Puck is often unseen and the Lion is thought to be too scary. I see the play being about ‘strange’ desires, and people being viewed as ‘monstrous’, echoing experiences associated with queer lives.
I will research the sites and their connection to the play, resulting in a script for a new film (and possibly performance) set in both sites. The script will feature two characters – Puck and Lion – in a new queer story.
Funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland. With partnership, support and/or assistance from Royal Scottish Academy, Historic Environment Scotland, Forestry and Land Scotland, Dunoon Burgh Halls, Argyll & Bute Council, CHARTS Argyll & Bute and The Fruitmarket Gallery.
Image: Illustration from the title page of Robin Goodfellow: His Mad Pranks and Merry Jests (1629)