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A Nobel Celebration

– 'more spacewalk than stepping stone'

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Seamus Heaney’s award of the prestigious literary award with a programme of star-studded virtual performances.

Actors, authors and an ambassador come together for a one-off programme of performances to mark the 25th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Seamus Heaney.
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the literary centre which celebrates the poet’s life and work, is staging a series of virtual events to celebrate the anniversary when Seamus Heaney became one of only four Irish writers to receive the most prestigious literary award in the world.

‘A Nobel Celebration - more a spacewalk than a stepping stone’, a title which uses Heaney’s own words to describe his journey from South Derry to the Stockholm stage where he received the Nobel Prize, will be opened by actor Ciarán Hinds with a specially recorded reading of ‘Digging’. The occasion will include a key note address from Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador for Ireland to the United States, talks by renowned authors Rosie Lavan and Roy Foster, and an introduction to her acclaimed version of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Anahorish’ by Lisa Hannigan.
As well as its focus on Heaney’s work, this bespoke production will also celebrate the work of the other three Irish Nobel Literature Laureates - WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett.

Star of stage and screen Fiona Shaw will read an excerpt of Beckett’s ‘Happy Days’, the life and work of George Bernard Shaw will be analysed by friend of HomePlace, Fintan O’Toole, who will also be part of the panel discussion on Yeats with Mark O’Connell and Emma Dabiri, titled ‘The Centre Cannot Hold’. This event will celebrate the 100 years anniversary of the writing of ‘The Second Coming’ and is presented in conjunction with Yeats Society, Sligo. The exciting, varied and lauded line up will provide a thoroughly unique perspective on Irish literature and its celebrated writers during these unprecedented times, while showcasing the breath and quality of guests and performers regularly appearing at Seamus Heaney HomePlace.

While Seamus Heaney HomePlace remains temporarily closed due to Covid-19, the award winning facility continues to blaze a trail in offering online events of the highest quality. In early 2020, HomePlace brought The Helicon theatre online through ‘Keeping Going’- named to recall Seamus Heaney’s poem dedicated to the perseverance and stamina of his brother Hugh- via a 6 week virtual arts programme featuring some of Northern Ireland’s best artists and authors.
HomePlace’s online programming now returns with this ambitious event by recognising the work and influence of each Irish writer to receive this most prestigious accolade.

Councillor Cathal Mallaghan, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, said:
“Mid Ulster is very proud of Seamus Heaney HomePlace and while we celebrate the life and work of Seamus Heaney in every aspect of our work, this significant anniversary – 25 years after the award of the Nobel Prize - deserves to be marked with an event worthy of the occasion. This online programme is unique, of the highest quality and a fitting celebration which will be enjoyed by people near and far”.

‘A Nobel Celebration-more a spacewalk than a stepping stone’ is a virtual event, with tickets available for online viewing from the Seamus Heaney HomePlace website from Wednesday 18th November, 2020.

Each ticket purchased will allow the audience the opportunity to watch and re-watch the entire event up until Sunday 20th December, ensuring the programme can be enjoyed more than once and at a time that is suitable for everyone. Tickets can be purchased HERE.