- Film & TV
- 16 Aug 23
A brand new series of three films, celebrating the work of author Mary Lavin, under the title 'In The Middle of the Fields', began running on the Hot Press YouTube channel on August 9. The latest edition marks the second part, with one further episode following, on August 23.
SoFFT Productions are celebrating the extraordinary life and work of Irish writer Mary Lavin with the film series, In The Middle of The Fields. The second of the three films is now available to watch on the Hot Press YouTube channel.
In The Middle of The Fields is produced with the support of the DTCAGSM Local Live Performance Programming Scheme, Meath Arts, with special thanks to the Lavin family.
Mary Josephine Lavin (1912 – 1996) was a major Irish short story writer and novelist. She is widely regarded as a pioneering female author in the traditionally male-dominated world of Irish letters. Lavin’s work contains sharp insights into the quiet tragedies and joys of human life and she is considered one of the great artists of the short story in the English language.
Playwright Deirdre Kinahan, best known for her works The Unmanageable Sisters, Rathmines Road, Moment, Halcyon Days, Bogboy, and her Irish Revolutionary History Trilogy Wild Sky, Embargo, and Outrage has curated this exciting series. Speaking about the films Kinahan says: “Each artist was invited to read Mary Lavin's evocative short story collection In The Middle of The Fields and see what strikes them, what inspires them. It might be a theme, a colour, a phrase or a character and out of that can grow a new song, a new tale, a new performance.
"Mary Lavin once described the short story as 'akin to ‘Lightning’s Flash’ because it has the ability to light up an entire landscape in one moment. She was both a brilliantly gifted and quietly subversive storyteller with an unflinching insight into the human soul. Her stories lifted the latch on the screaming passions, conflicting impulses and social barricades that beleaguered Irish life. There is an electricity to her writing, my hope is that we can tap into some of that extraordinary energy.”
The first of this trilogy was premiered with Hot Press on August 9 to much acclaim. Now, Hot Press and SoFFT Productions are bringing viewers the second instalment - set to premiere today, August 16, at 3pm.
The In The Middle of The Fields series includes a host of ground-breaking performers, starting off with Steve Wickham. Most widely known for his work with one of Ireland's best-loved bands - The Waterboys, Steve has recorded with scores of artists over the years, including Elvis Costello, U2 and the late Sinead O'Connor. Wickham is a multi-instrumentalist and composes extensively for film and theatre, also playing regularly with his own band in Sligo, NoCrows.
The hugely accomplished Irish actor, singer, and folklorist, Lisa Lambe also features in the series. The artist holds a degree from the Samuel Beckett Centre for Acting Studies and an Masters in Irish Folklore, with her new show, Nightvisiting, currently on tour. Lisa has performed in award-winning productions at The Abbey Theatre and recently played the lead role at The National Theatre in London. On top of her theatrical work, Lambe has also released four solo albums and been described by the Irish Times as “the finest singer and actor of her generation."
Saramai Leech is next to step up to the plate. A member of the art-pop band Perlee, Leech's work also spans performance, sound design and composition, as well as music in healthcare, and collaborative work in the areas of theatre and poetry. The artist has enjoyed radio play across National Irish and French Radio as well as performing at festivals such as Electric Picnic and Other Voices to name just two.
Also involved in In The Middle of the Fields is Irish actor and musician, Michael Brunnock, who has delighted on screens for over a decade now. His performance in In The Middle of The Fields is equally electrifying. Having established his music career when he relocated to New York City, Brunnock was delighted to have David Byrne (Talking Heads) cast him to sing the role of an Irish musician whose voice guides Sean Penn through an emotional journey in This Must Be the Place. The artist went on to win a Di Donatello award for 'If it Falls' in the best original song category, and recently won the Jury Award at the Bologna Film Festival for his music in the film In the Name of Gerry Conlon.
An intensely active musician and performer, Wayne Sheehy has worked with U2 frontman Bono, Van Morrison, Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones and The Faces fame, the Animals’ Eric Burdon, Bo Diddley, Bobby Womack, Paul Brady, Paul Young, the Chieftains, Hot House Flowers, and now features in In The Middle of The Fields. A producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist, Sheehy also owns Ocean Studios located on the shores of Bantry Bay in West Cork.
Gerardette Bailey is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has extensively toured and recorded both at home and abroad. Her voice and music have been used in film, dance, installation, and animation works, winning numerous accolades and awards. As well as being featured in this film series, the musician is currently working on a collaborative project with an album due for release in 2023.
Actress Catherine Byrne brings Lavin’s voice into the film series, performing from the stories that have inspired. Having trained at The Abbey School of Acting, Byrne has since become an accomplished actress, known for her roles in The Tudors, Taffin, Nightflyers, Dancing at Lughnasa, and as Dr. Judith Dillon in Fair City.
Finally among the participants, Sasha Terfous is the current poet Laureate for Wexford and one of the most important figures in Ireland’s spoken word community. Her knowledge, eloquence, and passion are key instruments in her aim to narrate life’s experiences and encourage her audience to reflect upon themselves and their decisions. Using her work as a form of activism, her poetry draws attention to the voices that should be heard and issues that need to be addressed. Terfous is a beautiful addition to In The Middle of The Fields.
Part two of In the Middle of the Fields premiered on August 16 on the Hot Press YouTube channel, with the last installation following on August 23. You can check out the previous part here, subscribe to the Hot Press YouTube here, and read about the last edition here.
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