ACCLAIMED Irish actor Adrian Dunbar will direct a special adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey on five of Donegal’s most beautiful beaches this month.
The production is part of the Brian Friel International Festival, organised by Arts Over Borders, and will run over Ireland’s Bank Holiday weekend between August 24-28.
The late playwright had a special affinity for the works of Homer and was said to read one or other of the Greek author's two epics each year.
Directed by Dunbar, The Odyssey will be recited by actor Niall Cusack and take place on the beaches of Tullan Strand Bundoran (August 24) with Yeats’ Ben Bulben to one side and some of the highest cliffs in Europe, Slieve League, on the other.
It will also be performed at Narin (August 25), Carrickfin (August 26), Marble Hill (August 27) and Fahan, Inishowen (August 28).
“Brian Friel, I believe, would be excited to hear of our plans to read Homer’s Odyssey on the beaches of Donegal,” Dunbar said.
“It was here after all that he imagined them first, lost among the islands or marching purposefully like Spartans to hold the Gap at Barnes Mor. Niall Cusack will be our Rhapsode in the Tent telling the story, there will of course be music and wine and fires lit.
“Theatre governed by the tides. I can’t wait.”
The production meanwhile coincides with the one-year anniversary of Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Co. Derry, which is running a number of arts events this summer in tribute to the late Irish poet.
As part of the anniversary events, Line of Duty star Dunbar will be giving a talk at HomePlace on August 19 on his own experiences as an Irish person living in London, inspired by Heaney's collection, District & Circle.
Also on the programme is former Riverdance star Jean Butler, who will premiere a deeply personal performance inspired by Heaney's final collection, Human Chain.
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, located in Bellaghy in Co. Derry, is home to a 190-capacity venue called The Helicon, which hosts a range of music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literary and talks events.
The museum opened its doors in September 2016 – three years after Heaney’s death in August 2013 aged 74.
Derry-born Heaney, whose works include Field Work, The Spirit Level and a translation of Beowulf, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.
In March, a crater on the planet Mercury was named after the esteemed Irish poet to coincide with World Poetry Day.