Stories Change Lives -Terry Rigby

Sharing Stories ,  Sharing Lives …

“The weak must be mixed with the strong for it is the strong

who are leading the world into the abyss.”

He was rehearsing for lead actor in  GLAD.

He was Philosopher.

He was homeless for 40 years.

Having suffered a nervous breakdown.

He was living in a hostel.

He spent his days in the library.

Initially just to pass the time, he learned Shakespeare.

Then, by a twist of fate, he finally got to perform a fragment on stage:

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings;

How some have been deposed; some slain in war,

Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;

Some poison’d by their wives: some sleeping kill’d;


Jeremy Weller about Terry Rigby:

In 1989 I was researching a play about homelessness in Edinburgh. For this research I interviewed many many men and women who had experienced homelessness. At that time it was my intention to write down their experiences and then cast professional actors to  perform their lives. Meeting Terry Rigby in the Grassmarket Mission Homeless hostel changed all that. Here was a man who had been homeless for 27 years, who could recite most of Shakespeare’s major speeches and spent his time reading Russian literature. I explained my intention of writing a play and he said:

“Between you and me there is an invisible glass wall . What you want to do with your play is smash a hole in this wall, so that people can look through it and see me and my world…Let’s do it!” This was true, who better to express the world of homelessness than someone with 27 years of living it.

Meeting Terry Rigby was the birth of my method, if method is the correct term for a way of making My Art.

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