Our website uses cookies. See our cookies page for information about them and how you can remove or block them. Click here to opt in to our cookies

Settle in for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival

Storytelling Festival

Hosted by the storytellers of Scotland in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, The Scottish International Storytelling Festival programme explores an ancient art form across 12 days of live storytelling, family events, talks, tours and more.

This autumn, 69 events will take place in Edinburgh, with a further 29 events happening throughout Scotland. Invited storytellers from all over the world taking part, in what is a global celebration of stories and spoken word. Here, we take a look at just five events from a packed programme of traditional cultural activites.

Storytelling Festival

Global Gathering

This three-day events takes to heart the three questions asked by Immanuel Kant: 'What can I know?'; 'What should I do?'; 'What may I hope?'.  This event is part of the Festival's contribution to the 70th Anniversary celebration of Edinburgh as a Festival City, and will feature keynote stories, talks, discussions and workshops, culminating in plenary celebration on the Friday.

Day 1 – Storytelling for Nature

The first day of the gathering will focus on the themes of Living Creatively with Nature; Sustainability; Ecology and Culture; Mapping, connecting and guiding. With contributions from Joe HarawiraMirian Vilela of the Earth Charter, Malcolm GreenAlette WillisGeorgiana KeableBernard Anson, and storyteller Alexander Mackenzie.

Day 2 - Storytelling for Peace and Justice

The second day of the gathering will focus on the themes of Conflict Resolution; Citizenship Awareness, Education and Action; Equalities; Health and Wellbeing; Migration and Asylum. With contributions from Amina BlackwoodWajuppa TossaMaimouna JallowLiz Weir and Peter Chand.

Day 3 - Storytelling for Hope

The third and final day of the gathering will focus on the themes of Creative Learning; Myths, Metaphors and Dreams; Imagining, Sharing and Telling; Celebration and Joy. With contributions from Grian CutandaAna Maria LinesJean EdmistonWayqui César Villegas AsteteGiovanna ConfortoGeorge MacphersonTravis De Vries, and the Be United project.

25-27 October, Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, 10.30am daily. Buy tickets here.

St. Magnus of Orkney - 900 years

Storyteller Tom Muir tells the great Orkney saga of Magnus, the earl who made peace, and paid with his life, nine hundred years ago. Since then the legend of Magnus has gone round the world and the Cathedral of Magnus in Kirkwall is a pledge of peace from northern past to global future.

22 October, Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Netherbow Theatre, Edinburgh, 6.30pm. Buy tickets here.

Precious Legacies: Remembering the Ancestors

Margaret BennetRuth KirkpatrickDavid Campbell and Jess Smithcelebrate their rich inheritance from iconic mentors and forebears. This event is inspired by the idea that 'by honouring the past, we give to the future.'

24 October, Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Netherbow Theatre, Edinburgh, 8pm. Buy tickets here.

Scotland Meets Pakistan: Islands to Cities

A collaboration between Pakistani singer Sara Kazmi and Scotland based musician Sarah Hayes flows into an exchange between Pakistani poet Shazea Quraishi and Scottish storyteller Ian Stephen. Enjoy a unique journey in music, song, story and poetry from the Isle of Lewis to Lahore.

25 October, Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Netherbow Theatre, Edinburgh, 6.30pm. Buy tickets here.

A Spontaneous Marathon of Halloween Storytelling

This marathon storytelling event brings storytellers from different nations together with local people in a storytelling extravaganza, to face off against the demons of Halloween. All the stories will be woven and cobbled together under a spell of Machiavellian wit into a single story lasting 12 hours for this very first and one time only time event. Come along if you dare. The event is hosted by storyteller Alexander Mackenzie.

31 October, Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Netherbow Theatre, Edinburgh, 10am-late. Unticketed.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival runs from 20-31 October. Find the full programme on the festival's website.

This article was published on 17 Oct 2017