The process of making a rom-com podcast miniseries based on Highland mythology was tremendous fun. It was a great opportunity to pick out the different emotions found in Edwin Morgan’s work.
For our first episode, the Sough o the Sea, we build a slow tension from the real world of a young Orkney creel fisher into a realm of Highland legend. We make this transition through a storm, where we read the opening verse of Edwin Morgan’s Seal, from his Beasts of Scotland collection. It’s a stunning poem, looking at the anthropomorphism of the seal. It fits perfectly to introduce a selkie and who soon forms a lesbian romance with our fisher. It’s a fresh take on a classic story.
In the second episode, our story moves south from Orkney to Caithness where our hero is sucked into a Ceilidh in a Fae Broch. We wanted to explore the layered meanings of the ruins of the Far North. When we read Edwin Morgan’s Domes of St Sophia, it felt like a perfect fit as the poem looks at how buildings remind us of past inhabitants. We built lines from the poem into an echoing spell in the middle of the supernatural ceilidh, it’s very haunting.
In our final episode, Laird o the Loch, we took inspiration from Morgan’s wonderful Loch Ness Monster song. Throughout this process, we wanted to celebrate the unique humour of Morgan’s work, and this genuinely made us smile.
Weaving Edwin Morgan’s work into this strange wee podcast series has made us think more deeply about our own storytelling practice. We are really proud of our Queer as Folktales podcast series. It’s lighthearted and full of laughs, but it’s also doing something really original with Highland mythology and has received excellent feedback from across the globe.