Travel into the world of Gatehouse in the 18th century with historian Frances Wilkins who will give a talk on George McMurdo who farmed at Enrick outside Gatehouse in the second half of the eighteenth century. A tenant of James Murray who built Gatehouse, McMurdo had a varied life which also took him to Virginia to work in the tobacco trade before returning to Scotland. McMurdo will be the subject of a new exhibition at the Mill next season.
Join Dumfries and Galloway Bat Group for an illustrated talk about bats, followed by a leisurely bat walk at the Mill and in the nearby woods. We will provide bat detectors, giving you a fresh understanding of these fascinating flying mammals.
Songwriter/composer Alison Burns loves to write for community choirs – songs with lush beautiful harmonies and simple text that are easy to learn by ear but satisfying and special to sing. Many of her songs have found their way into the repertoire - and hearts - of singers across the UK, and increasingly the USA and Australia. In this concert, which offers a rousing finale to BIG LIT 2016 her renowned Castle Douglas based Feral Choir perform some newly written songs of hers and by other contemporary writers. £5
Actress Karin Fernald explores some of Jane Austen’s earliest works in this intriguing one-woman show. Written while Austen was in her teens, these farcical and anarchic stories, short novels and plays were never meant for publication, but to entertain family and friends. Disconnect from ipods and ipads, smartphones and twitter, and enter the I8th century. (One unlikely heroine ends her career up in The Highlands)
Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death
Actor and broadcaster Peter Marinker discusses and reads from the 29 year old Shakespeare’s sonnets expressing his unconditional, platonic love for his patron, the third Earl of Southampton, the beautiful 19 year-old, cross-dressing womanizer Henry Wrothesley. In a fascinating exploration based on the late Ted Hughes’ Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being we glimpse the personal history of the greatest poet of the English language.
Kenneth Steven was inspired to write A Song Among the Stones by a talk about early Celtic hermits thought to have made the difficult and dangerous journeys from Iona to seek solitude in Iceland. It was first broadcast by Radio 3’s The Verb and went on to become a choral work by composer John Hearne. Then world renowned harpist Wendy Stewart composed music to be woven through and around the sequence. Wendy and Kenneth have gone on to perform it many times in different corners of Scotland.
With old photographs, poems and a summary of his philosophy, Dr Christine Kupfer explores the life and thought of Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore was a polymath who reshaped Bengali poetry, literature, music, art and theatre. He was honoured with the Nobel Prize in literature in 1913 for Gitanjali. India still celebrates him as one of its greatest cultural heroes. Dr Kupfer, author of a book on Tagore’s philosophy and education, talks about Tagore’s life, worldview and his educational experiments at his Indian ashram.