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Seamus Heaney fable translations on BBC

Seamus Heaney
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1995
Seamus Heaney visited Anahorish Primary School near Bellaghy where he was a former pupil.
Pic Gavan Caldwell

Seamus Heaney The Nobel Prize in Literature 1995 Seamus Heaney visited Anahorish Primary School near Bellaghy where he was a former pupil. Pic Gavan Caldwell

 

Five medieval Scots fables, translated by Seamus Heaney will be on our screens on Thursday, March 13 at 7pm

Five Fables will be screened on BBC Two Northern Ireland, having been been brought into the 21st century as enchanting animated tales.

Narrated by acclaimed comedian/actor Billy Connolly and with a specially-composed score by pianist Barry Douglas, Five Fables, made by local animation studio Flickerpix, is an ambitious re-telling of stories written 500 years ago by the medieval Scots poet, Robert Henryson.

Beginning on BBC Two Northern Ireland on Thursday, March 13 at 7pm, each of the five programmes in this series contains an introduction by Seamus Heaney, who was very much involved in all aspects of the project from its inception.

The programme also includes his final television interview before his death last summer; a fully animated fable, and some documentary elements about how these morality tales made it to the television screen.

In programme one – The Two Mice – viewers will see how Billy worked with Seamus on the animations, forging a strong working relationship and becoming great friends.

Speaking during filming for the series, Seamus Heaney said he saw Billy Connolly in a movie called Mrs Brown where he acted John Brown a servant to Queen Victoria.

“It was a wonderful performance full of nuance and it established in my mind as somebody with presence and with possibilities other than the wild man doing a comic act on the stage which is also deeply attractive,” he said.

And after meeting Seamus Heaney for the first time in April 2013, Billy Connolly said: “I love him, he’s great. He’s a lot gentler than I expected. For some reason I thought he’d be more forward, slightly more aggressive, but he’s a big gentle dumpling. I think he’s amazing.”

David Cumming, Executive Producer for Flickerpix, said what has made this project so exciting is the bringing together of so many talented people from different disciplines – all at the top of their game - Seamus Heaney’s wonderful translation, Billy Connolly’s rich delivery, Barry Douglas’s beautiful music and Joel Simon and Dean Burke’s stunning images.

Five Fables is a Flickerpix Production for BBC Northern Ireland with support from the Northern Ireland Screen Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund.

 
 
 

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