In My Father’s Words’ first incarnation was in June 2014 funded as part of the cultural programme for the Commonwealth Games.
A beautiful story of a near mythical migration that is perhaps at the core of more everyday family histories than we think, it brought the Gaelic language to the heart of events in the centre of Glasgow at the Tron Theatre before transferring back to Dundee Rep where the commission originated.
As a designer, my first response is almost always made via the rhythm of the language, scribing key words and phrases into my sketchbook which become the DNA of the final environment.
There are few clues in written Gaelic as to how it might sound to someone entirely unfamiliar with hearing it but the phrases that Justin Young ( writer) and Iain Finlay MacLeod chose to translate have deep resonances for all of us and I scribed them on my studio walls in order to immerse myself in them.
Primarily, for me, the play is about our sense of home be that a family, a place, a language or a combination of all these things and more.
With this unexpected opportunity to transfer the show to 59E59 Theatres, Off Broadway we are bringing the show to a city built on migration.
In transferring to an entirely different size and shape of theatre space, I have embraced the opportunity to radically redesign the piece to create a sculptural response to this collision of emotions between a father and son briefly finding ‘home’ after such a long time as strangers.