When: 21st – 31st October 2016
Where: Edinburgh and on tour across Scotland
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Many events are free
What is it?
The 27th Scottish International Storytelling Festival will take place from Friday 21st to Monday 31st October 2016, with live storytelling, workshops, talks, and family shows.
This year there will be 72 events taking place in Edinburgh, and 41 events taking place across Scotland as part of the Festival on Tour. The Festival on Tour programme sees both local and international performers take their stories on the road, sharing tales from Oban to Orkney, Ayr to Aberdeen.
Taking Festival of Dreams as its theme, this year’s programme will focus on the Spanish-speaking world, with guests from Spain, Central and South America, spinning fantastic tales and sharing colourful visions of the future. Other guests hail from Finland, Jamaica, Brazil and Scotland, telling tales old and new, little-known and well-loved.
From colourful Cuban towns to Chilean mountains, Colombian beaches to Peruvian villages, hear stories to transport you around the Spanish-speaking world; mixed in, as always, with celebrations of Scotland’s tales and traditions. Highlights include From the Scottish Borders to South America, in which Mary Kenny and Daniel Hernández share stories of the Border shepherds and sheep farmers who sought a new life in South America during the 19th century.
Each evening, visitors can unwind at the Open Hearth, a relaxed, traditional gathering in the Storytelling Centre’s Netherbow Theatre, where Scottish and international storytellers come together to trade tales, providing the perfect end to the day.
The festival encourages the use of the story’s mother tongue and this year’s programme will feature various bilingual performances, allowing both Spanish and English-speaking audiences to delve into stories from across the Hispanic world.
Tributes will be made to some of the Hispanic world’s most influential figures, from Frida Kahlo, to a journey through the mind-opening fiction of Jorge Luis Borges. Discover the work of Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, and the adventures of ‘Don Roberto’, the Scottish politician who made his fortune as a cattle rancher in Argentina.
This year the festival will celebrate Autumn Dreams with a Family Day at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Visitors can go in search of faerie folk at the Lochend Secret Garden, explore plant power and folklore at the Dr Neil’s Garden in Duddingston, and make beastie bed boxes at Leith Community Croft.
Star Tales, with storyteller Linda Williamson and harpist Mio Shapley, will be accompanied by an astronomer, exploring the observable facts and mysterious fictions of star lore at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Edinburgh City of Literature will also host a Stars and Stories Tour through Edinburgh’s Old Town.
This year marks 200 years since the creation of Frankenstein, which was conjured up by Mary Shelley in response to a writing challenge issued by Lord Byron. Six new ghost stories will be showcased at the National Library of Scotland on Monday 31st October as part of the festival’s own call to the public to pen tales to terrify.
Halloween starts early with Family Samhuinn, an afternoon of crafting, face painting, dancing and drumming on Saturday 29th October. The following day Guisers Galore will offer the chance to learn a poem, song, or dance before heading off on the Guisers Parade around the Old Town. On Halloween itself young storytellers will share scary tales of their own creation, with the help of Tim Porteus.
In addition, Lauriston Castle will be transformed into a haunted house, the perfect setting for scary stories. For older children, the Dreams and Nightmares Tour around the Royal Mile will uncover closes and courtyards where dreams were made, and nightmares unfolded.
Festival workshops will include how to awaken your inner clown; revealing light, vulnerability and innocence, with Spanish performers David and Monma.
The Festival on Tour will span across many regions of Scotland, with Scottish storytellers unearthing local myths and legends and the international guests transporting audiences across the globe through their captivating tales. This year’s festival coincides with the Orkney Storytelling Festival, the Inverness Storytelling Festival and the Portskerra Storytelling Festival, all of which will invite international and Scottish storytellers to share their tales amongst beautiful settings.
More info: www.tracscotland.org