Advance look at Storytelling Festival 2016

A montage of 10 photos showing individuals and pairs of storytellers, with a mix of posed and 'in-performance' shots.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival has revealed the full programme of its October events, with dreams and imagination at its heart.

The theme for 2016 is Festival of Dreams, exploring how humans are able to dream things into existence and the ways storytelling can lift us from reality into other times and places.

Now in its 27th year, the 10-day Festival (21-31 October) features a wide range of events both international and local, with themes of people and place, the natural and the supernatural.

Here are some of the strands and events to look out for:

Dreams and dreaming

Dreams and Nightmares
6pm, 21, 22, 29 and 30 October
Mercat Tours takes participants round the closes and courtyards of Old Edinburgh.

This is Where Dreams are Made 
10.30am, 22 October
Playing with words, sounds, movement and story, this workshop for adults takes inspiration from traditional tales, exploring the links and resonances in our own lives. 

Dare to Dream Day
2pm, 22 October
The liberating power of the imagination is open to everyone, wee or big - what stories would you tell to the world today, from the future of your dreams?  

Dream Feast 
8pm, 26 October
Enter the Garden of Dreams, make yourself comfortable and enjoy a night of tasty stories with the enchanting storytelling of Shonaleigh. 

Stories from the world

Stories from Mexico and Panama
5pm, 22 October
Storyteller Rubén Corbett treats you to stories from both Central American countries. 

Stories from Argentina 
6.30pm, 23 October
Storyteller Liliana Bonel will take you on a journey to the vast lands of Argentina with their hidden treasure of legends and folk tales.

The story of a Nicaraguan family
5pm, 24 October
Rosa of the Wild Grass author Fiona Macintosh unravels a fascinating and deeply moving personal and family chronicle, spanning 50 years in Nicaragua.  

Stories from Jamaica
6.30pm, 24 October
Storyteller Amina Blackwood introduces the richness of Jamaican oral traditions and the vibrant energy of Caribbean tales.

Stories from Peru
6.30pm, 28 October
Storyteller César Villegas Astete offers an intimate and enchanting evening of ancient Peruvian tales and legends. 

Stories from Colombia
6.30pm,29 October
Storyteller Mauricio Patiño Acevedo takes us to Colombia,a tropical land that smells of coffee and thrives with stories. 

Stories from Cuba
5pm, 29 October 
Storyteller Beatriz Quintana awakens your imagination with the rhythms and colourful beauty of Cuban stories.

Family events

The Faerie Folk of Lochend's Secret Garden
11.30am, 22 October 
Join storyteller Jane Mather at Lochend Secret Garden for a morning of tales, discovery and hidden surprises.  

Book of the Howlat
2pm, 22 October 
In this workshop for families and children, hear the Scots story of the young owl who longs to change his feathers then create your own art work inspired by the story.

Autumn Dream: Storytelling Day at the Garden 
1pm, 23 October 
Storytellers will animate Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden for a relaxed afternoon of stories for all the family. 

A Spooky Time in the Museum 
12.30pm & 1.30pm, 29 October 
It’s time for the skeletons to rattle their bones, but can you make them glow? Draw and paint a glow-in-the-dark skeleton at the Museum of Childhood.

Family Samhuinn 
12pm, 29 October 
Join a day of crafting, face painting, dancing, drumming and other fun activities based on the Celtic festival of Samhuinn. Wear your scariest costumes, kids! 

Halloween at the Lauriston Castle
10am, 30 October 
Come in full costume and enjoy an afternoon of treats and fun in the old creepy Castle, and watch out for ghosts and ghouls! 

Dream Maps and Creation Stories 
2.30pm, 30 October
Explore memory and myth in this family-friendly story workshop. Learn about Shakespearean actors, creation stories from different cultures and create your own dream map.

Plants and creatures

Snug as a Bug?
11am, 22 October
Storyteller Rosie Mapplebeck lives in a nature garden where she makes new homes for tiny creatures. Share stories of her animal, bird and bee friends and make a beastie bed-box.

Plant Power & Folk Stories
2.30pm, 22 October 
Enjoy storytelling and the folklore of plant medicine in the very secret, very special Dr Neil’s Garden at the bottom of Arthur's Seat. 

Community Gardens 
11am, 26 October 
Do community gardens play a role in the contemporary understanding of health and environment in Edinburgh? Talk and discussion at the Botanic Cottage, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

Diario da Floresta – The Forest Diary
6.30pm, 26 October
Brazilian anthropologist Betty Mindlin, with Brazilian storyteller Ana Maria Lines, shares some of the myths and traditions of the Suruí Paiter people from Rondônia in western Brazil.

Travel and displacement

Once Our Valleys Were Ringing
6.30pm, 21 October 
The times, creeds and circumstances may vary, but the predicament of people fleeing their homes is not a new one. Folk stories and songs of displacement and migration. 

A Journey through Maps 
2pm, 25 October
An afternoon of readings and stories at the National Library of Scotland on the theme of maps, mapping, journeys and travels.  

From the Scottish Borders to South America 
2pm, 28 October 
Explore the stories of the Border shepherds and sheep farmers who sought a new life in South America during the 19th century. 

A Human Love Story 
2pm, 28 October 
Over the last three years Matt Hopwood has walked more than 1500 miles through England, meeting people to connect and share love stories.

Hallowe'en and Samhuinn

Guid Crack at Hallowe’en
7.30pm, 28 October 
Edinburgh’s renowned storytelling club holds its open Friday night session for Hallowe’en, with guest storyteller Mara Menzies. Admission by donation. 

Guisers Galore
2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm, 4pm, 30 October 
Come to learn a song, a poem and a dance for real Hallowe’en guising, then follow the Old Town Guisers. Bring your own costume or mask. Not suitable for children under 5. 

Ghost Stories
2pm, 31 October 
Primary school youngsters share stories of their own creation, with storyteller Tim Porteus who nurtured their storytelling imaginations.

Ghost Tales for Telling 
6.30pm, 31 October 
Six winning tales from the Festival's Mary Shelley anniversary competition told by some of Scotland’s most accomplished storytellers.

Samhainn Fire Festival
9pm, 31 October 
Hosted by Beltane Fire Society, the Samhainn Fire Festival celebrates the Celtic New Year, with a stunning torch lit procession, acrobatics, fireworks, beautiful costumes and breath-taking performances.


Canongate Stars & Stories
6pm, 22 October 
Celebrate 500 years of the Canongate’s incredible literary history with the launch of Canongate Stars & Stories. Weave your way down the Canongate and discover the books, words and ideas that have shaped Scotland from the heart of Auld Reekie.

Stories in the Skies 
2.30pm, 26 October 
An afternoon of stories and poems as part of the Festival’s star-gazing strand . With the participation of Joanna Geyer-Kordesch, Donald Smith and Janis Mackay. 

Star Tales from the Animal People 
6.30pm, 26 October 
A session at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh devoted to the observable facts and mysterious fiction of star lore. With storyteller Linda Williamson.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival takes place from Friday 21 to Monday 31 October. Find out more about the Festival, including programme and ticket booking details.

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