Storytelling Festival launches 2014 programme

SISF Director, Donald Smith, and Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, have launched the 2014 Scottish International Storytelling Festival programme. The festival, announced at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, runs for ten days from 24 October until 2 November


The 2014 festival programme is themed Once Upon a Place and celebrates Edinburgh’s reputation worldwide as a city bursting with culture, as well as the tenth anniversary of becoming the world's first UNESCO designated City of Literature.

As part of Scotland’s 2014 Year of Homecoming, the Storytelling Festival is bringing together home-grown talent and acclaimed storytellers from across the world to tell their tales and enthral listeners.

Audiences can explore what is distinctive and special about Scotland and its international connections, with a programme that combines storytelling ceilidhs with talks, landscape tours and specially commissioned performances, and a final weekend marking the ancient Celtic New Year of Samhain/Hallowe’en.

Special events will commemorate some of Edinburgh’s great storytellers and thinkers, including Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and John Fee.

Other highlights include

  • Open Hearth Sessions – celebrating common humanity and stories and songs that connect across the continents.
  • European Seeing Stories Series – celebrates the magic of place and looks to the future in terms of sustainability and conservation.
  • Halloween celebrations including Ballads and Tales of the Supernatural at the Storytelling Centre and Haunted Tales of Old Edinburgh at the Museum of Edinburgh.
  • A range of events for children, including Tales of a Granny at the National Museum of Scotland and Tales of a Grandson at the Festival Theatre and Down on the Farm in Gorgie at Gorgie City Farm.
  • Special exhibitions at the National Library of Scotland celebrating Sir Walter Scott and marking the centenary of the First World War.
  • The festival will reach beyond Edinburgh with Festival on Tour events across Scotland from Orkney to Bute and from Aberdeen to the Borders.

Festival Director Donald Smith said:

We are delighted to present the programme for this year’s festival; it’s packed with exciting events and a fantastic mix of homegrown storytelling talent and as well as global visiting storytellers.  The theme of place is key to us, as Edinburgh is such an inspiring city.  Over the years it has produced an array of wonderful writers, some of whom we’ll pay our respects to during the festival, and as an ever evolving vibrant place it continues to inspire year on year.  I’m also very pleased that we are able to reach out beyond the city limits with a programme of events taking place throughout Scotland.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said:

I am delighted once again to see such a rich and diverse range of tales on offer at this year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival, played out through story and song, to celebrate the importance of places to our cultural life in Scotland. The theme of Once Upon a Place is particularly apt, in this the 2014 Year of Homecoming.
The Scottish Government is pleased to be supporting the 2014 Festival through our Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund. The Festival will enhance and creatively communicate a shared experience of place, by bringing together local and international dimensions. From projects inspired by the bicentenary of Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, to Storytelling for a Greener World, there is an exciting array of events to engage and inspire.

For the full festival line-up, to book tickets and find out more call 0131 556 9579 or visit the Storytelling Festival website.

Image: Fiona Hyslop MSP with clarsach player Rachel Newton and storyteller David Francis - credit Rob McDougall/Scottish International Storytelling Festival

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