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Showcase & celebrate Scotland’s traditional arts and the characters that have enriched the traditional scene.
Following on from fantastic activities last year, a special weekend of events at the Scottish Storytelling Centre will mark Scotland’s national day.
Events marking St Andrew’s Day at the Centre are part of the Year of Homecoming and are supported through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.
The events will celebrate Scotland’s unique heritage and distinctive culture through the Centre’s stellar line-up of storytelling, song, music, dance and food for all the family, ensuring residents and visitors to the Capital alike can enjoy genuine, top quality Scottish entertainment at an affordable price to fully enjoy St Andrew’s Day Weekend.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said:
‘St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome.
‘That’s why, once again, we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant events and attractions taking place across Scotland– including at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, where an exciting and imaginative line-up of activities is planned.’
Audiences are invited to be swept away on An Orkney Tapestry on Friday 28 November at 7.30pm as storyteller David Campbell and folk music duo The Wrigley Sisters celebrate poet George Mackay Brown, whose transcendent poetic visions transformed the familiar Orkney scene into something timeless and universal.
On Saturday 29 November, Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook returns after a sell-out last year to celebrate our nation's fabulous food. Showcasing Scotland’s natural larder with its wealth of local produce, join Mrs. Mash for a generous serving of Scottish stories and taste for yourself the Queen's own recipe for 'Balmoral Drop Scones'. Mrs Mash creator, Marie-Louise Cochrane, is excited about the event and states:
‘I'm really looking forward to celebrating St Andrew's day. I love stories but I especially love stories that include food! Lots of our traditional stories include references to food and what people eat in Scotland now and in the past. This time round, our audience will be getting a wee taste of a Drop Scone.
‘These will be made on my very own cast iron girdle to a recipe based on the one Queen Elizabeth used when making afternoon tea for American President Eisenhower at Balmoral.’
While the kids are cooking up a treat, the Centre comes alive with two interactive workshops, as Rachel Newton and Grace Banks unwrap the mutual influence between tale and tune in Song and Story: Between the Worlds, while a host of traditional dancers and musicians come together for a demonstration day in the Traditions of Dance – A Scottish Store.
Showcasing quadrilles, hornpipes, flings and introductory sessions to step dance for youngsters, this will be an action-packed day to become immersed in the magic of movement as Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland Coordinator, Michelle Kelly explains:
‘With so many dance teachers coming from across Scotland this is going to be a lively day and a great opportunity to explore Scotland's dance traditions. We're looking forward to welcoming adults and young beginners as well as more experienced dancers. This really is a day for everyone to get involved.’
Then we round off Saturday with an evening of storytelling special memories as Jess Smith celebrates the life, music and influence of Belle Stewart B.E.M in Jess Remembers Belle at 7.30pm.
With special guest Sheila Stewart MBE (daughter and biographer of Belle) be taken on a journey of discovery as Belle’s life is celebrated from beginnings in Caputh through to an enormous influencing power in the travelling community, as Jess Smith explains:
‘Belle Stewart was one of Scotland's finest folk singers but to me she was much more. Every summer, the highlight of my life was the “berry picking” at Blairgowrie. This was a summer of saturated tales, songs and fun. My family were never away from Belle's house in Rattray, it was part of my “growing up”.
‘I gained so much from the atmosphere generated from Belle's home. Indirectly my writings were inspired by this grand lady and this is why I want to remember her “Traveller” style.’