Scenes for Survival | Craic Head

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7 Sep 2020

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Driven to breaking point by his agonising tooth pain, young Hammy is at a loss. The dentists are all shut, he’s drank everything in the house, and none of the old folk cures work. Now he’s seeing things that aren’t really there, and he’s beginning to consider drastic action. A surreal and comic Gaelic language short from writer and performer Hammy Sgìth, directed by Muireann Kelly.

Produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and Theatre Gu Leòr with support from Hopscotch Films.

"This is a film about when I pulled my tooth out.

I’m a writer. I make music and I like to film things as well, but I am mostly a writer.

My grandmother gave me two gifts. The first gift was that she taught me how to fold paper in such a way as to make a comic book with neat panels.

I still use her method when making story boards.

Her second gift was a set of wisdom teeth that grew straight under my back molars.

This means that when my wisdom teeth grew in they pushed on the back molars and made them come out with the relative ease of milk teeth.

I used traditional remedies to extract the tooth. Whiskey and my hands.

And I sang a little song to myself in Gaelic, with my hands in mouth.

Later, as I sat down drunk and newly de-toothed, I thought how funny I must’ve looked.

It always takes a while to see the funny side of pain, but you will see it.

Greif is like a box with a button in it. Then someone smashes a bouncy ball into it. It starts off all wild and haywire - hitting the button again and again and again. But it settles down. You’ll forget there was a bouncy ball in it. Then one day you’ll have to move the box and it’ll hit the button again. But the box gets bigger, the button gets harder to push.

Good innit?

Got it aff a meme.

Gus am bris an latha, a sheanmhair."

Hammy Sgìth, Writer & Performer


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