Founding father of the historical novel, Sir Walter Scott, released Waverley 200 years ago, unleashing an enticing tale of adventure, romance, conflict and journey, inviting readers to travel back into a vibrantly illuminated past.
Generations have enjoyed his works, countless have been inspired by his penmanship (over 90 operas for example take their cue from Scott) and Edinburgh houses the largest monument to a writer in his name on Princes Street, as well as the central railway station dedicating their name to this two-hundred year old classic.
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is excited to showcase the brilliance of Scott through a series of events celebrating him, from analysis of the man himself to reimaging works for a modern audience.
The Festival opening event takes place in Central Library at 2.30pm on Friday 24 October with Donald Smith revisiting Scott’s superb re-telling of Scotland, Tales of a Grandfather. Begun as a project for his own grandson, Scott was soon transported into a historical tapestry of his own wizardly making. If you can’t make it to the Library, Smith repeats the performance on Saturday 25 at 2pm at the National Museum of Scotland (which also features rolling story sessions throughout the day, including Tales of a Granny, sharing stories of Scotland). Both events are free.
Then storyteller Andy Cannon picks up where Scott left off with Tales of a Grandson at Festival Theatre Studio on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 October. Inspired by tales from his own Grandparents, Cannon retells Scott’s tale from the view of the common man instead of aristocratic and royal assessment. This three part adventure, featuring a host of other performances, including a chorus of grannies, dancing and local children, is an enticing look into Scotia’s past, with Mary Brennan summing it up best in her talk with Andy for The Herald when she states that the audience – young or old – will have their ‘imagination touched and tickled by the sheer pleasure of hearing a master storyteller in his element, bringing out truths from myths and legends while reminding us of how tales about our kin become part of a shared, collective family history.’(Read the Full Article here)
On Monday 27 & Wednesday 29 at 2pm, storyteller, artist and singer Mary Kenny shares her enthusiasm for the life and work of The Wizard of The North through the ballads and stories that inspired him. With Kenny living in the same hauntingly beautiful Borderlands as Scott did, she is well equipped to whisk the audience away in a delightful, free afternoon at the Museum of Edinburgh.
Then on Thursday 30 at 2pm in the National Library, Donald Smith takes a look at Scott through another author’s eyes – John Buchan – who vividly and affectionately described Scott and his work in a dedication book. Smith also questions why in modern times, everyone may know Scott by name and monuments, but is he really the great unread?
Mary Kenny returns along with storyteller Peter Snow for our celebration of the Canongate – The Glorious Half Mile to Holyrood – with six sessions of stories and songs that inspired Sir Walter Scott in the Museum of Edinburgh’s New Town Parlour on Sunday 2 November. This is the final day of the Storytelling Festival for 2014, highlighting Scott’s intrinsic presence throughout the enticing programme.