The Drowned Giant

About The Drowned Giant

The giant washes up on a beach but this time he’s dead on arrival, and the narrative follows the decomposition of his gargantuan corpse.

As a theatre designer Stewart Laing is used to working in scale: making models to communicate visual ideas to directors, actors and producers. Working in scale on this project, he realised that the living body of a full sized performer would make an ideal giant from the perspective of a 1 to 25 scale figure.

For the performance of ‘the drowned giant’ he decided to focus on this backstage ritual, the model presentation, and open it up to the public, giving the audience an opportunity to share this normally hidden experience.

We set up a design studio in a shop in glasgow, and built 3 models. When it came to the performances Stewart Laing introduced the material to the audience. This was his first experience of being physically present in my work.

The first model explored scale, with an actor playing the body of the dead giant. The audience were encouraged to closely examine the body laid out before them, to interrogate it with impunity.

The second model was an attempt to confront mortality, to show ‘the dead body’ that is now taboo and absent from contemporary life.
here the giant’s body is turned into a commodity: it‘s dismembered and sold to pet food companies and fertiliser factories.

The third model displayed what was left behind, the remnants and traces of the once magnificent body. The human form is trivialised as absurd trophies and freak-show attractions, or miscategorised as the skeleton of a whale.


1 of 28

98 pic


Creative Team