Over the midsummer weekend the St Magnus Festival will be broadcasting music and arts around the world from Kirkwall in Orkney. A special thread of their programme, GMB100, celebrates the centenary of writer George Mackay Brown with a variety of free and paid content available for the coming weeks.
‘About George’ is a 40-minute film about Brown’s life and work. Against a backdrop of Orkney landscapes, it features Brown reading his own work, a conversation between Dr Linden Bicket and Professor Kirsteen McCue, the editors of Polygon’s new edition of An Orkney Tapestry, and special video contributions from writers Kathleen Jamie and Malachy Tallack, who have edited new collections of Brown’s poetry and short stories respectively. Watch here on the festival’s site.
In the festival’s GMB100 collection, you’ll also find films of George Mackay Brown’s poetry, newly commissioned fiddle tunes relating to Fiddlers at the Harvest Home, a poetry book by dementia sufferers, and a photography project in collaboration with Women’s Aid. In the paid content, there’s a new film of Brown’s play The Storm Watchers, directed by Gerda Stevenson.
The Times gave the festival a five-star review today. And get your copy of Saturday’s Scotsman this week and next for special essays on George Mackay Brown by Kathleen Jamie on his poetry and Kirsteen McCue and Linden Bicket on An Orkney Tapestry.
The films from this year’s St Magnus festival are pretty special. …I t’s not just because of the quality of the actual performances, remarkable and varied as many of them are; it’s because they have worked so hard to ground their work in the Orkney landscape that gives the festival its distinctive flavourTHE TIMES, 18 June 2021
The festival runs from 18-23 June 2021. Find out what’s on at www.stmagnusfestival.com