Eclec­tic line-up at Belladrum

Films, talks, po­etry ses­sions and one-to-one in­ter­views to run along­side mu­sic

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - LOCAL NEWS - BY SU­SAN WELSH

Ex­cite­ment is mount­ing with the sell-out Belladrum Tar­tan Heart Fes­ti­val just days away – but it’s not just mu­sic stars the fans will be able to en­joy.

One pop­u­lar at­trac­tion is the tented Verb Gar­den, which is spon­sored by The Press and Jour­nal.

For the last three years, Hamish Mac­Don­ald, an In­ver­ness-based poet and play­wright – whose works in­clude Fac­tor 9, which he wrote about the con­tam­i­nated blood scan­dal of the 1970s and 80s – has been in­volved in putting to­gether the pro­gramme.

This year’s line-up in­cludes an eclec­tic mix of films, talks, po­etry ses­sions, and one-to-one in­ter­views.

“Events start at 5pm on Thurs­day with a whisky tast­ing and talk with To­matin Dis­tillery, one of three whisky tast­ings take place over the fes­ti­val,” he said.

“This is fol­lowed by Stu­art A Pater­son, Ra­dio Scot­land’s poet in res­i­dence for 2017-2018 .

“He’ll be very en­ter­tain­ing and per­form­ing a range of con­tem­po­rary, in­ven­tive, timely and hu­mor­ous verse.

“Ir­ish poet Aoife Lyall, who lives in In­ver­ness and runs the Ness Book Fest, then presents a half hour set and this is fol­lowed by thought-pro­vok­ing film by Sarah Wood­cock called Be­com­ing.”

Pro­duced by Cold North Pro­duc­tions, a new film pro­duc­tion com­pany based in the High­lands, the film was made on a shoe­string bud­get and shot en­tirely in the High­lands.

From the Scot­tish High­lands, the fo­cus then moves to China.

“We have Eu­ge­nie Vron­skaya talk­ing about Shura Shi­h­warg, who was born in Rus­sia and brought up and ed­u­cated in China,” said Hamish.

“At the age of 95 he had his book of po­etry, Mir­ror, pub­lished,

“He’s led an ex­tra­or­di­nary life, and was mar­ried to ac­tress Joan Wyn­d­ham who was posted to In­ver­ness dur­ing the Sec­ond World War. “Eug­ine will present footage she’s shot of Shura read­ing his po­etry and talk­ing about his life.”

Thurs­day’s events will draw to a close with the sin­ga­long screen­ing of a movie ev­ery­one wants, Grease star­ring John Tra­volta and Olivia New­ton-John.

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