In OMOS, four performers pay homage to an overlooked passage in the history of Black people in the 16th century Scottish royal court. They reclaim the story through drag, dance, opera and pole dance in a Shakespeare-inspired forest and in Stirling Castle, drawing on the past while looking to the future.

  • Rhys Hollis
  • Rhys Hollis
  • Adam Castle
  • Andrea Baker
    Key Cast
  • Divine Tasinda
    Key Cast
  • Rhys Hollis
    Key Cast
  • Kheanna Walker
    Key Cast
  • Ambroise Leclerc
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Glasgow Short Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    March 22, 2023
    Festival Premiere
    Opening Film + Performance
  • ECRÃ Festival
    Rio de Janeiro
    June 29, 2023
    Latin-American Premiere
Director Biography - Rhys Hollis

Rhys Hollis (also known as Rhys’s Pieces) is a cabaret artist and director of OMOS, alongside performing in the film. Rhys Hollis is described as a one-person cabaret troupe; they are a performance artist, dancer, rapper, lipsyncer, cabaret host, genderbending drag artist and burlesque act. They were crowned 2018’s LipSync1000 Champion. In 2019 they were awarded the title of best Variety Act by QX magazine. They have performed at galleries including Tate, V&A and Royal Historic Palaces and performed as themselves in the play The Sound of the Underground at The Royal Court, London in 2023 which received five star reviews in The Guardian, The Independent, Attitude, Time Out and The Stage. They host cabaret nights across the UK, including their own creation, Queerdos Cabaret. OMOS is their debut film.

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Director Statement

OMOS pays homage to a historical performance given to King James VI of Scotland with a little-known Black history, alongside connections between Puck’s Glen and Stirling Castle and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the play, a group of performers rehearse in a forest, where they meet Puck, before they eventually perform for the royals at the palace. Puck’s Glen, with its magical forest and waterfalls, is named after Puck from the play. In 1594, a performance was given to King James VI of Scotland and his family at Stirling Castle. The original plan was for a lion to pull a chariot through the Great Hall. However, organisers were concerned that the lion would frighten guests and it was removed. Just one year later, and possibly inspired by this event, William Shakespeare included a joke about royals being scared by a performance featuring a lion in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. However, there is an often untold Black history at the heart of this. When the lion’s appearance was cancelled in the Stirling Castle event, an unnamed Black man pulled the chariot instead - one of a number of Black people who featured in performances at the Scottish court.

The title OMOS was originally an acronym for the phrase ‘O monstrous! O strange!’, a quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As the project developed, this phrase has beenmorphed to stand for ‘Our Movement, Our Stories’. The film has an ambiguous title of solely OMOS.