“Aesop’s Fables in Scots Verse’ was written by Robert Stephen, and is being read by actor Stuart in a collaboration that’s sure leave its mark. Robert, from Ardallie near Peterhead, and Stuart have joined forces to record the complete book in eleven podcast episodes on Spotify.
“A labour of love,” said Stuart, ”It’s a beautiful book, funny and whimsical, and as it’s Aesop, a wee lesson with every tale.”
Stuart, whose acting credits include John Byrne’s ‘Tutti Frutti,’, ‘t Ain’t Half Hot, Mum’, ‘Hamish Macbeth’, and ‘Playschool’, was first given the book by his sister Margaret when his son Mitch was born.
“The book resurfaced during a house move last year, and for old times sake I recorded one of the Fables on my phone and sent it to Margaret, and that’s where the idea of recording the whole book was born.
"I contacted Robert and he gave his blessing.
“Robert was a fisherman before qualifying as a doctor, and the Fables were written while he was a medic on off-shore oil rigs.
"The book was first published in 1987, the year my son Mitch was born.
"Mitch is now a professional musician and he has written and performed all the incidental music for all the Fables.
“My aim has always been to get Robert’s amazing book back out there to a new generation of Scots parents and their children,” says Stuart. “Listen to the podcasts on line then check out the book.”
A pupil of Forfar Academy, Stuart’s first jobs on being asked to leave the academy were in journalism. He started in 1960 as a reporter on the Kirriemuir Herald, and then “the entire editorial staff” on the Dispatch.
“Plays at the academy under Douglas MacMillan, head of English, and his wife Eve, were my introduction to the idea of becoming an actor.
"Mind you, at that time even the local Young Farmers’ Club had its own drama group.
“Acting was not the obvious choice of a career at the Academy, but I’m glad I was bloody-minded enough to stick to it. Now, years later, I get to do joyous work like Robert’s book."
You can catch up with the the podcast on spotify.