Hellfire Nation

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20151029

20151029

Louise Welsh reckons there's an uncanny presence in the Scottish psyche - the fear of hellfire. She should know as she's working with composer Stuart Macrae on a modern opera 'The Devil Inside' adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson's dark short story 'The Bottle Imp' where, almost like a Satanic version of pass-the-parcel, whoever has the Bottle and its imprisoned demon in their possession at their death goes straight to Hell.

But Hell was no mere game for the young Robert Louis Stevenson, his otherwise jolly and affable Calvinist nanny, Alison Cunningham absolutely terrified him on the subject, till the poor little mite had night terrors - not helped by nanny bringing him some coffee to get him back to sleep. Helped by Free church minister Rev. Iver Martin and former Bishop Richard Holloway, Louise gets to grips with belief in hell, while fellow writers poet Aonghas Macneacail and novelist James Robertson talk about its influence in their life and work.

20151029

Louise Welsh reckons there's an uncanny presence in the Scottish psyche - the fear of hellfire. She should know as she's working with composer Stuart Macrae on a modern opera 'The Devil Inside' adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson's dark short story 'The Bottle Imp' where, almost like a Satanic version of pass-the-parcel, whoever has the Bottle and its imprisoned demon in their possession at their death goes straight to Hell.

But Hell was no mere game for the young Robert Louis Stevenson, his otherwise jolly and affable Calvinist nanny, Alison Cunningham absolutely terrified him on the subject, till the poor little mite had night terrors - not helped by nanny bringing him some coffee to get him back to sleep. Helped by Free church minister Rev. Iver Martin and former Bishop Richard Holloway, Louise gets to grips with belief in hell, while fellow writers poet Aonghas Macneacail and novelist James Robertson talk about its influence in their life and work.