Northern Ireland news

Seamus Heaney HomePlace announces `virtual' performance programme

Singer-songwriter Anthony Toner in on the Seamus Heaney HomePlace programme

A LINE-UP of acclaimed writers and musicians has been announced as part of a new `virtual' programme of performances at Seamus Heaney HomePlace.

Among the talent to feature are author Glenn Patterson, singer-songwriter Anthony Toner, award-winning poets Maureen Boyle and Stephen Sexton and short story writer and playwright, Rosemary Jenkinson.

The `Keeping Going' series of readings and performances, named to recall Seamus Heaney's poem dedicated to the perseverance and stamina of his brother Hugh- a regular attendee in 190-seater performance space The Helicon.

The audience can tune in from their own homes through the HomePlace YouTube channel, beginning with Glenn Patterson next Wednesday.

Martin Kearney, chair of Mid Ulster District Council which owns and operates Seamus Heaney HomePlace, said the performance title was "apt" for the lockdown situation.

"While the physical space may be temporarily closed, there's no end to the creative ways in which the team at HomePlace has been continuing to engage with customers and audiences since the impact of the pandemic began.

"This aptly named performance programme will showcase some of the best of the local literary and musical talent directly to everyone's own home place.

"Nothing beats the atmosphere of a live experience, but these online performances are the next best thing and I have no doubt we'll have a `virtual full-house'."

The Bellaghy attraction, which recently reached it 130,000th visitor milestone, is not open to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The online programme will be available by visiting or by looking for `Seamus Heaney HomePlace' on YouTube

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