SHORTS AND MONOLOGUES
Sketch of a Shrimp by Hamish Muir, 2020
'Shrimp' is a monologue about love and shellfish. It was produced as a radio drama by production company Ragged Foils in June 2020 and can be listened to here.
The piece explores the internal thoughts of a character desperate to impress the person they are sitting next to at dinner when something fishy happens with the food.
There is a surrealism that contrasts the animalistic or natural with the manners and etiquette of a dinner party. This takes inspiration from the image of Donald Sinden holding an alligator at a white-tie party, which is a still from the 1955 film 'An Alligator named Daisy'. The alligator seems out of place to the extent that it is abstract. This suggests that humanity can design life and interiors to the point that nature does not belong - or can only exist as rugs or ornament. The shrimp serves a similar function in the monologue.
Still from 'An Alligator named Daisy', 1955
Hamish Muir performing UN-Quote, March 2019, photo credit: Y. Manolopoulou
'UN-Quote' is a satirical monologue about the way in which the environment is discussed in political discourse. It was first performed in March 2019 at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, as part of the PhD performance event 'Confessionals'. The reading is an absurdist, abstracted version of the IPCC Paris Agreement. The piece plays with the language used in the text and obscures meaning through stressing different emphases within the performance.
Hamish Muir performing UN-Quote, March 2019, photo credit: Maria Catalina Venegas Raba
Stills from 'A Date for the Diary' by Hamish Muir, 2017
A Date for the Diary
'A Date for the Diary' is a short sketch comedy. It was produced as an illustrated radio drama by Arctic Lion in December 2017 and can be viewed here.
The piece plays on the sensibilities of the past and the present, through the way that people communicate and interact. It juxtaposes a contemporary discussion about online dating with the manners and mannerisms of an old-fashioned era. The stills above show the contrast being made between the contemporary emphasis on technology based interaction and a traditional type of romantic encounter. Watching over the meal is a taxidermy stag, which morphs from being a hunting trophy into an ironic cardboard ornament that could be found in a hipster cafe. The stag is a metaphor which seeks to show the change of values in the way that people meet and find love. A cardboard stag is synthetic and unnatural yet it does not require the death of an animal to be created. This is the key point being made - there are contradictions and ironies between nature and naturalism.
The White Horse of Kilburn
'The White Horse of Kilburn' is a short film made at Easter 2023. It is an autobiographical and psycho-geographical piece about a walk to a land-art site in the North York Moors National Park.
The film can be viewed here.
The Kilburn White Horse was constructed in 1857 and it is a nodal point for Hamish Muir's view of Yorkshire, invoking memories of visits when he was a child. It is a representation of his families links to the area.
It is partly inspired by Ken Russell's 'A British Picture' - a semi-dramatised biography that is filled with Romantic classical music and a sense of irreverence.