The 2014 Scottish International Storytelling Festival begins on 24 October and runs for ten days until the 2 November. The programme is themed Once Upon a Place and celebrates Edinburgh’s reputation worldwide as a city bursting with culture, as well as being the world's first UNESCO designated City of Literature.
The programme was launched by Director of the Festival, Donald Smith with special guest Fiona Hyslop, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, plus a preview performance from Rachel Newton and David Francis who present Meeting the Fairies on Hallowe’en.
Scotland is welcoming the world in 2014 and in this Year of Homecoming, the Storytelling Festival is an important event on the Homecoming calendar, bringing together home-grown talent and acclaimed storytellers from across the world to tell tales and enthral audiences. The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is the perfect event for everyone from home or abroad who wants to explore what is distinctive and special about Scotland and its international connections, with a programme that combines storytelling ceilidhs with talks, landscape tours and specially commissioned performances, and the finale weekend marks the ancient Celtic New Year of Samhain/Hallowe’en.
Festival Director Donald Smith explains more:
‘We are delighted to present the programme for this year’s festival; it’s packed with exciting events and a fantastic mix of homegrown storytelling talent and as well as global visiting storytellers. The theme of place is key to us, as Edinburgh is such an inspiring city.
'Over the years it has produced an array of wonderful writers, some of whom we’ll pay our respects to during the festival, and as an ever evolving vibrant place it continues to inspire year on year. I’m also very pleased that we are able to reach out beyond the city limits with a programme of events taking place throughout Scotland.’
There will be special events commemorating the great storytellers and thinkers of Edinburgh including Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and John Fee – a storyteller who had a fantastic backdrop of Old Town Tales that have been gathered into a book.
The major strands of the Festival programme highlight the appeal for visitors and residents alike to uncover more of Scotland, as well as further afield:
The SISF 2014 strandsare supported by the Scottish Government Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund, and the Festival was launched by Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs:
‘I am delighted once again to see such a rich and diverse range of tales on offer at this year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival, played out through story and song, to celebrate the importance of places to our cultural life in Scotland. The theme of Once Upon a Place is particularly apt, in this the 2014 Year of Homecoming.
‘The Scottish Government is pleased to be supporting the 2014 Festival through our Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund. The Festival will enhance and creatively communicate a shared experience of place, by bringing together local and international dimensions. From projects inspired by the bicentenary of Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, to Storytelling for a Greener World, there is an exciting array of events to engage and inspire.’
Highlights of the programme include: