Greek legend, Middle Eastern tales and spooky stories - it's SISF15

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2015 begins on Friday 23 October, with a wealth of subjects, both local and international, to inspire, entertain, educate and enlighten festivalgoers.


One of the highlights of this year's festival is Warrior Blues, a hugely ambitious retelling of Homer's Odyssey, combining old and new, Scottish and Greek, into a single hour of storytelling magic.

Bob Pegg, who both wrote and stars in the piece, describes his adaptation as "a distillation of the whole of The Odyssey told from Odysseus’ point of view". In Pegg's version, the hero is re-imagined as a musician on the road: 

He’s a man with a story to tell, maybe a little bit down on his luck, so he’s decided to get his hands on some of the royalties that others – composers, novelists, poets beginning with Homer – have earned exploiting his story by releasing an album of songs based on his experiences.

Warrior Blues takes place on Sunday 1 November at 6.30pm. More information.



The Storytelling Festival's theme of Stories Without Borders is also evident in a strong showing from the Middle Eastern world, with a range of events, including:

Iran vs Israel
Friday 23 October and Sunday 25 October
Israeli Raphael Rodan and Iranian Sahand Sahebdivani combine traditional tales and personal stories, to question if they are really so different. More information.

An Evening with the Hakawati: Syrian Tradition
Saturday 24 October
Syrian hakawati (storyteller) Bassam Dawood shares some of the best-loved tales from his country’s long and proud tradition. More information.

From Village to Village: A Journey through Jordan
Friday 30 October
Storyteller Rabeea Al Nasser and musician Tareq Al Nasser use stories and music to evoke an expedition through Jordanian villages. More information.



Hallowe'en happenings abound at the 2015 Storytelling Festival, with the dark nights and intimate atmosphere ideal for the season. Here are just some of the eerie events on offer:

Family Samhuin and Guisers Trail
Saturday 31 October
Learn a song, a poem and a dance on All Hallow's Eve before donning your masks and costumes to follow the Old Town Guisers Trail! More information (plus here's our guide to even more family fun at the festival).

Guid Crack at Hallowe’en
Friday 30 October
Monthly storytelling event the Guid Crack Club helps get the grown-ups into the Hallowe’en spirit with a night of truly spine-tingling tales. More information.

Tree Trails and Whispering Trees
Both on Saturday 31 October
Two events led by Janis Mackay, David Campbell and Ken Shapley, demonstrating how trees and storytelling have long been entwined. Tree Trails looks at the lore and legends of Scotland's trees, while Whispering Trees wonders what happens when the trees gather for Hallowe'en. More information.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival takes place between 23 October and 1 November 2015. For more details, including programme and ticket links, please visit our SISF page.

Images (from top)

  • Bob Pegg
  • Iran vs Israel
  • Storyteller Marion Kenny, musician Mohammed Nafea and some spooky friends

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