The Buke of the Howlat

Brodie Castle Grounds

September-October 2018

Based on a satirical 1446 Old Scots poem by Richard Holland, (which became the second text to be printed in Scotland) The Buke of the Howlat tells the story of a young owl who is dismayed by his appearance and goes to the Peacock-Pape to see if there is anything he can do. After a conference of all the birds, Mother Nature is asked what can be done. She asks each bird to lend a feather to revolutionise the Howlat’s appearance. However, rather than being grateful, the little owl reacts with pride, arrogance and defiance.

Performed by a stellar core cast of four actor-musicians, Andy Clark, Angela Hardie, Gary Collins and Annie Grace, with two young musicians forming a band led by and with music composed by Quee McArthur, Morna Young’s new version of the text led the audience from forest clearing to leafy glade in the very landscape where the poem was set.

The rest of the performance company were made up of 45 community participants, from a local school, individual participants and the Moray College HND drama students. Vividly choreographed by Ruby Worth, the woods were brought alive with bird movement. Stunning design by Becky Minto responded to the natural beauty of the site.

The Buke of the Howlat was a commission from and keynote event of the Findhorn Bay Arts Festival 2018.