Opening Weekend Dates Announced

July 29, 2016

Mid Ulster District Council has announced dates for the opening of Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the new centre in Bellaghy which will celebrate the life and work of the poet and Nobel Laureate.

The £4M purpose-built arts and literary venue will open its doors to the public on Friday 30 September, beginning a weekend of celebrations which will give visitors their first opportunity to journey through the exhibition of the life and literature of Seamus Heaney, as well as to experience a series of events in the new 189-seater performance space.

The acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter, Paul Brady, headlines musically, with other performances by traditional musicians drawn from across nine countries with which Seamus Heaney is closely associated.

Celebrated writers – many of them Seamus Heaney’s friends – from Tom Paulin and Julie O’Callaghan to John Horgan and Olivia O’Leary will also be taking part, and a unique classical music experience, ‘Bach to Broagh’, will see renowned cellist Christian Poltéra play three of Bach’s Cello Suites – intercut with readings of Heaney poems – on a 1711 Stradivarius.

Aspiring writers and actors from the Bellaghy area and from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast, also feature, as does the ‘Off The Cuff’ theatre group from Magherafelt which will be staging a production of Seamus Heaney’s ‘The Burial at Thebes’.

The opening weekend programme runs from Friday 30 September to Monday 3 October, and sets the scene for a year-long programme of events ‘12 Books, 12 Months’, with each month focussing on one of Seamus Heaney’s twelve main collections of poetry in chronological order, beginning with Death of a Naturalist in October and concluding with Human Chain in September 2017.

Full programme details and tickets for the opening weekend (30 Sept – 3 Oct) will be released in August.