Angus actor Stuart McGugan is giving classic tales like ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ a taste o’ the mither tongue in a new podcast.
McGugan, known for roles in John Byrne’s Tutti Frutti and Hamish MacBeth, teams up with Peterhead author Robert Stephen for a new “labour of love” Spotify series, which has a special connection to his own family.
The 11-part podcast sees Stuart deliver lively readings from Stephen’s 1987 Scottish bestseller The Fables of Aesop In Scots Verse – a copy of which was given to him at the birth of his son, Mitch.
“It’s a beautiful book,” says Stuart. “Funny and whimsical, and as it’s Aesop, there’s a wee lesson with every tale.”
The original Aesop’s Fables, believed to have been written by a slave in Ancient Greece, features well-known tales like ‘The Goose Who Laid The Golden Eggs‘, ‘The Tortoise And The Hare‘ and ‘The Wolf And The Lamb‘, which are still used today to teach morals to children.
Stephen’s retelling plucks the tales from Ancient Greece and recasts them in the Scots language, keeping the essence of the stories but updating them for the modern Scottish reader.
I’ve had tae change the tongue that a’ yer beasties speak,
For oor animals are Scottish, nae being versed in Greek.”
Tae Aesop, by Robert Stephen
And having grown up with the book, Mitch also got involved with the podcast, composing and playing the original music which greets listeners.
“My aim has always been to get Robert’s amazing book back out there to a new generation of Scots parents and children,” says Stuart.
“Hear the podcasts online, then look up the book,” he adds. “It’s Christmas time, after all.”
The Fables Of Aesop In Scots Verse – Read by Stuart McGugan is available to stream now on Spotify.
The book by Robert Stephen is available to purchase from the author’s website.