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RT Celebrates Brendan Behan's 100th birthday

03/02/2023

RT Celebrates Brendan Behan's 100th birthday

on television, on radio and online

https://www.rte.ie/brendan-behan/

Brendan Behan was born one hundred years ago, on 9th February 1923, and to celebrate this important birth centenary, RT has put together a programme of themed content, both new and existing through RT Archives, across television, radio and online.

MAIN PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS

>>>ON TELEVISION

Nationwide: RT One, 7pm, Wednesday 8 February

In a special programme, RT One's Nationwide looks back on the life and work of Brendan Behan, revisiting many locations of Behan's city including Russell Street in the north inner city where he grew up, Mountjoy prison, the house in Anglesea Road, Dublin 4 which he bought with his wife Beatrice and his grave at Glasnevin Cemetery, including RT Archive material of Behan. As part of the programme, presenter Anne Cassin will talk to Brendan Behan's daughter Blanaid Behan, writer and director, Peter Sheridan, historian, Donal Fallon and academic, Deirdre McMahon.

>>>ON RADIO

Bowman 8.30: RT Radio 1, 8.30am, Sunday 5th February and 12th February

Across two Sunday mornings John Bowman presents a timely selection of recordings of and about Brendan Behan from RT Archives.

Sunday Miscellany: RT Radio 1, 9.10am, Sunday 5th February

On Sunday Miscellany, Bl naid Behan (pictured below), in Familiar Stranger, writes about the father she barely knew but whose presence looms large in her life.

At rare gatherings with my father's side of the family old Dublin ladies would pat me on the head and say sadly, God love you child, you lost your Da and he was awful young.' To me at the age of seven or eight, 41 seemed quite ancient! Sure, doesn't everyone die at 41?' I wondered. I examined photos for any hint of a likeness. Joan Littlewood, the legendary theatre director in whose hands his play The Hostage won numerous accolades, told me I had his eyes

Arena: RT Radio 1, 7pm Monday 6th February

An hour-long special looking at Brendan Behan's entire career and legacy with guest writer and director Peter Sheridan, writer and historian Donal Fallon, who also presents the Three Castles Burning podcast, and musicians Daoir Farrell, Anne Buckley and Macdara Yeates.

Behan Beach in: RT Radio 1, 7.30pm Sunday 12th, 9th and 16th February

A short series focuses on Behan's writing and spoken words:

Sunday 12th February: Brendan Behan's New York is his posthumously published book, transcribed from recordings by Behan recounting stories around the city he loved. On its publication it was described as A big broth of a book, full of the late author's wit and charm'. The programme features actor David Herlihy (who himself performed in a milestone Borstal Boy production directed by Joe Dowling) with a jazz soundtrack contemporary to the period in which Behan spent time in New York.

Sunday 19th February: A focus on the poetry of Brendan Behan or Breand n Beach in as he called himself when he wrote in Irish. The poems are read by actor Br d N Neachtain (who plays the role of the post-mistress in The Banshees of Inisherin) and Behan's nephew and literary academic Colbert Kearney.

Sunday 26th February: Behan's classic short story The Confirmation Suit was as though written to be read aloud with its rhythms and musicality. This coming-of-age story is set in Behan's inner-city Dublin where he grew up. The 12-year-old narrator is approaching his coming-of-age sacrament of confirmation only to be dashed by the prospect of wearing the dowdy suit that has been made for him for the occasion. The story is specially performed for this programme by Dublin poet and spoken word artist Stephen James Smith.

An C inne D na: RnaG, 6.30 pm Sunday 5th February

As we approach the centenary anniversary of Brendan Behan's birth on 9 February, Des Geraghty joins Tristan Rosenstock on An C inne D na to discuss the significance of Behan's Irish-language writing.

>>>ONLINE

To mark this special occasion, RT has created a dedicated Brendan Behan themed index www.rte.ie/brendan-behan/ which also features on RT Culture. It offers the perfect destination for a rich variety of Behan-related material and includes a range of programming mentioned above. The wider Behan family also features, including Behan's brothers Brian and Dominic, also writers, his mother Kathleen Behan, a renowned singer, and Brendan Behan's wife, painter Beatrice Behan (Salkeld). This site dedicated to all things Behan will be curated throughout the year and is one to watch for all Brendan Behan fans.

Commenting RT 's Group Head, Arts and Culture, Ann-Marie Power said: Behan became one of Dublin's most recognizable citizens, adoring city life, and one of the West End's and Broadway's most famous playwrights and celebrities. Notably, he is among few Irish writers whose command of and flair for language found such fluency in Irish and in English. The titles of Brendan Behan's the The Quare Fellow, The Hostage and Borstal Boy and stand assuredly alongside other seminal works of 20th century Irish literature, including those of James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett, and Mary Lavin, although Behan's personal life and struggles sometimes overshadow his writing talent.

Now, in Celebrating the Centenary of Brendan Behan RT offers a breath of new and RT Archive programmes across television, radio and online going beyond the persona and crude stereotype by focusing on the quality of his work, his powerful interpretations of the society of his day and his place in Irish culture.'

For more visit www.rte.ie/brendan-behan/ and www.rte.ie/Culture

>>>ADDITIONAL DETAILS: TELEVISION

Nationwide: RT One, 7pm, Wednesday 8 February

Presenter Anne Cassin looks back on the life and work of B
LINK: https://about.rte.ie/2023/02/03/rte-celebrates-brendan-behans-100th-bi...
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