Storytelling Festival celebrates Irish links with 2018 programme

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Storytelling 2018 prog launch 975x400

With Edinburgh’s summer behind us, the Festival City action continues into autumn, as the fantastic Scottish International Storytelling Festival gets underway from 19-31 October.

This year’s celebration is themed Growing Stories and considers the future of Scottish storytelling, drawing strongly on local and global influences and championing the traditions of Scotland and Ireland through a special series of 12 events.

Festival Director Donald Smith said:

We’re laying stronger, deeper foundations for the Storytelling Festival this year, and looking to future growth. We’re also standing alongside Ireland in a time of threat to everything that people there have achieved since the Troubles.

The intertwined Celtic traditions of the two nations will be celebrated in the Festival’s opening event, Ossian - The Pipes and the Story, which takes place in the Great Hall of Stirling Castle on Thursday 18 October. Ossian… is a chance to experience a true Celtic epic and is supported by the Scottish Government’s Festival Expo Fund.

Further links between the nations feature in the Scotland & Ireland series which includes exhibitions and workshops as well as great storytelling and traditional music from Irish visitors such as The Armagh Rhymers, County Clare’s Eddie Lenihan and singer, storyteller, actress and songwriter Helena Byrne. Providing artwork at the Festival’s Storytelling Centre hub will be featured artist Dara Vallely.

Following the opening event, the main programme gets underway back in Edinburgh on Friday 19 October, with a total of 66 performances, workshops and walking tours in the Scottish capital, accompanied by a further 27 around Scotland. A further 100 school and community events will take place across the country, bringing the power of storytelling to even more people.

Programme highlights include events looking at collections of traditional folklore, opportunities to enjoy the links between live storytelling and Edinburgh’s proud literary tradition, and great ways for families looking to add extra authenticity to their Hallowe’en celebrations.

The programme features a total of 18 global guests from as far afield as Ireland, Wales, France, Iceland, India, Belgium, Jordan and Sierra Leone, as the Festival presents a showcase of both Scottish and international storytelling at its best.

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Helping launch the 2018 programme was Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs, who said:

Blending our rich Celtic roots with contemporary narratives, this year’s edition of the festival welcomes an excellent line-up of storytellers from across the world and emphasises our links with our Irish and international friends, confirming Scotland’s global and open outlook.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival runs from 19-31 October 2018. Tickets are on sale now.

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