Scottish International Storytelling Festival guide

I Knew a Man Called Livingstone is one of several events on the great Scottish explorer. Picture: Gavin Dougan
I Knew a Man Called Livingstone is one of several events on the great Scottish explorer. Picture: Gavin Dougan
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NOTHING beats a good story, and the programme for this year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival is packed with interesting and exciting yarns. Here are some of the tales we’re looking forward to hearing.

Storytellers’ Journeys

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Once Upon a Journey’, and a series of events focussing on great Scottish explorers are set to bring their stories to life.

The global voyage of the political reformer Thomas Muir, the pilgrimage of St Columba and the missionary travels of Mary Slessor are just some of the historical tales retold in this strand of the festival, with 16 specially commissioned tales of adventure to choose from.

Open Hearth

A great way to get a taste of the festival, the daily Open Hearth events provide an array of music and storytelling as the night draws in. A different selection of storytellers each night make this an ideal option for those wanting to test the storytelling waters.

David Livingstone

Scientist, abolitionist, explorer - Dr David Livingstone is one of Scotland’s most revered historical figures. With exploration at the top of the agenda, it’s only fitting that the Festival devotes a host of events to the great doctor.

I Knew a Man Called Livingstone tells Livingstone’s story from an African perspective, while Livingstone & the Ordeal of the Congo tells the story of travel writer Patrick Richardson’s attempts to follow in his footsteps.

Poisoned Arrows is a journey through the Royal Botanic Gardens to follow the story of Livingstone’s botanist John Kirk, while Ewan McVicar and Christine Kydd’s The Light of the World brings yet another aspect of the Livingstone legend to life through story and song.

The great outdoors

While the majority of the events at the Storytelling Festival take place in the cosy confines of the Festival’s home on the Royal Mile, there are some that let you explore a bit more of the city.

Calton Hill – Some Mad God’s Dream? is a day of short stories examining the famous hill’s place in Edinburgh folklore and culture, with short guided walks around the hill.

If you want to get closer to nature, Down on the Farm hosted by Rosie Mapplebeck takes the storytelling to Gorgie City Farm, allowing the whole family to enjoy a tale or two in the company of a tail or two.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival takes place on 18 -27 October at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, and venues across Scotland.