Peter McMaster‘s all male “version” of Wuthering Heights is probably better described as an all male response. Taking the second half of the novel, when Heathcliff returns as ‘a man’, as its main inspiration, it’s really a collection of moments riffing on the theme of manhood and masculinity, beautifully carried by the five male performers, and with some genuinely silence-inducing, stark, honest ideas which linger long after the performance is over.
It was first performed as a work-in-progress as part of Arches LIVE 2012 and, needless to say, got brilliant reviews. But, its personal nature means it’s one of those pieces you really should see for yourself – male, or female – as it holds the power to really question something about yourself and others. If you fancy seeing it as part of an entirely male environment, there’s a men only performance at 4pm on Sat 27th April.
Peter’s website is a great place to get acquainted with more of his work, which has an overarching focus on nature, wildness and the environment. Or, read his own answers regarding Wuthering Heights below…
What inspired you to create Wuthering Heights?
A desire to learn how to understand myself as a man more, in relation to other men. Wuthering Heights is used as a familiar vehicle, and I have discovered that the story of Heathcliff in particular is a good story to compare/contrast my own understanding of what it means to be a man.
Has the show developed since you first performed it at Arches Live? If so, how?
Yes – it’s become more succinct. I also understand some of the conventions for creation and delivery of material better. The intellectual understanding of the work has grown, and so has the relationships of the men in the company. Our understanding of why this piece of work is important to us has also grown. And, I just think the show’s a bit better, too.
What have you learned or discovered about yourself/the world in the process of creating the show?
That masculinity is a more complicated system than I previously understood, within an even bigger complicated social fabric. For myself, relating to the world personally (i.e emotionally, physically and with authenticity) is the best way of understanding myself as a man, and therefore understanding the ways in which I feel we need to move forward – for the wellbeing of both men and women – in relation to men and masculinity. Doing this with other men is life-changing.
What can the audience expect to see/experience?
An intimate yet fearless show with a strong sense of authenticity. Five men attempting to express themselves, and attempting to engage beautifully with themselves, each other, and the audience.
Who would be your dream theatrical collaborator, dead or alive?
I’m not sure. Maybe Mahatma Ghandhi. Or Kurt Cobain.
Describe your show to us in three words:
Intimate. Fearless. Authentic.
Wuthering Heights is on at the Arches, Glasgow from Tues 23rd to Sat 27th April. For tickets and more information go to: http://www.thearches.co.uk/events/arts/peter-mcmaster-wuthering-heights-2