Clach Cuid Fir

Created by Daniel Maslen, The Pitch 2019

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‘Clach Cuid Fir’, is a Historical Drama that uses fantastical imagery, spectacle and powerful characters to redefine the down-to-earth issue of toxic masculinity. We follow Ceallach; a young outsider with the gift to talk to Faeries in an ancient forest, as he struggles to gain affection from his distant father. After sneaking from his croft to hunt deer with the help of his magical brethren, Ceallach is thrust into manhood as his father prepares him to lift the Clach Cuid Fir, in the hopes that he’ll be ready to fight a Viking invasion. As a strongman, I’m inspired by ancient rites of passage that involve feats of strength. Men have always veered towards measuring self-worth through an external metric, and this stems from our desire to fulfill outdated gender roles: provision, protection and procreation. My ambition is to use the origins of this culture to break unrealistic expectations and explore how personal identity can help you overcome obstacles without the need to be the biggest or strongest. As the Isle of Skye seems set on tearing itself apart, Ceallach can’t help but feel that the answer to his family’s survival resides in the very forest he abandoned.

Biblical Connection

My biblical source comes from 1 Book of Samuel, chapter 17, paragraphs 4 to 58. The story of David and Goliath. The passage presents the moral ‘faith over flesh’. David, a young boy, against his brothers’ anger, defeats Goliath with nothing but a sling and his faith in God. I wanted to use my knowledge of the Viking invasions to set my story on Skye and refocus the moral of faith in God to faith in yourself. In my story, David and God are replaced with Ceallach and his relationship with the Fae Folk. David’s three brothers; Eliab, Abinadab and Shammah, are replaced by Ceallach’s brothers; Caedmon and Calder. Ceallach’s struggle to fit in with his siblings reflects the relationship between David and Eliab, highlighting themes of masculine culture and the problems of comparing yourself to those around you. Whilst ‘Clach Cuid Fir’ stays true to Scottish history, and the Vikings win the battle for Skye, with Ceallach losing the first fight against a Viking champion, I keep to the message of both my story and the bible by having Ceallach beat the champion in the confines of the forest where he feels he belongs.