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Culture Literature

Scottish International Storytelling Festival storytelling walk

Missed buses and a late arrival as grim weather beckons – even the direst of days hit pause as the first of many stories came to life in front of my eyes. Jane Mathers, the resident storyteller of that particular afternoon, took us around Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens, stopping every once in a while to […]

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Culture Literature

SISF: The Tempest and the Teller review

Sitting in the corner of the stage with the lights dimmed, Alexander Mackenzie successfully builds an atmosphere of anticipation for his show The Tempest and The Teller, a bold re-interpretation of Shakespeare’s iconic play. Mackenzie pre-warns the audience somewhat nervously about the experimental nature of his show, noting his uncertainty about its success as a […]

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Culture Literature

SISF: Open Hearth – New Moon

As the moon wanes, the International Storytelling Festival ends another week with Open Hearth – New Moon, a whimsical culmination of folk tales and comedic short stories that help devise a relaxing ambience for the evening performances. Both the warm lighting and the communal singing help to bring both audience and storyteller together to absorb […]

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Culture Literature

SISF: Greyfriars Bobby and his Four-Legged Friends: Amazing Edinburgh Animals! tour review

A tour named Greyfriars Bobby & his Four-Legged Friends is clearly geared towards young children, and yet this sold-out tour is still comprised mostly of adults eager to revisit their childhoods and indulge in an hour of interactive storytelling. Tour leader Fergus McNicol is charming, personable and made an effort to talk to every member […]

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Culture Literature

SISF: Open Hearth review

The second weekend of the Scottish International Storytelling festival culminates with Open Hearth. Gary Green and Margaret Grenier from Canada, and James MacDonald Reid from Scotland, share their heartwarming stories with the audience. The cosy atmosphere of the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s theatre, mixed with the magical music and beautifully told stories, are the perfect combination: […]

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Culture Literature

SISF: Stories from the Yukon review

The audience files into this event like they would any other; there is the usual rustling of jackets, ‘Is this seat taken’s, and squeezing together to fill every seat in the sold-out show. However, as soon as the lights go down, it becomes clear that we are in for something unique, something genuine. The stage […]

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Culture Literature

SISF: Corryvreckan: Inspiralled Tales review

With the Scottish International Storytelling Festival in full flow, an evening of tales steeped in Scottish folklore is exactly what the druid healer ordered. The audience is seated to the tune of Sarah McFadyen’s lilting fiddle, shortly joined on stage by the storyteller, Fiona Herbert. She stands regal, replete with flowing gown and sweeping gestures, […]

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Culture Literature

‘Untangling the complicated narrative that was Orwell’s life’: Life with my Father, George Orwell review

Richard Blair spent the first six years of his life in the company of one of the world’s most influential writers: his father, George Orwell. In his appearance at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Blair discusses his father, pivoting around the milestones of his life and illustrating them with his own memories and reflections of […]