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Fringe 2017 Q&A: Cantrip Teasel

Scotland’s dark and mysterious past is hidden deep in its songs and legends. Heather Yule, Jeanie Roy Collins and Alison Bell are Cantrip Teasel, and present The Strange and the Eerie: Ballads and Stories of Auld Scotland from Mon 21 – Wed 23 August. Alison gave us some insight into their show…

How would you describe your show in one sentence?

The Strange and the Eerie is a chance for a little time-travel, to a Scotland where the traditional tales and old ballads were not just the story but a cultural context, an entire whole and community history.

Is this a new show or have you performed it elsewhere?

This is a new show and we can’t wait to share it with the Fringe audience!

Is this your first visit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe? 

I haven’t performed at the Fringe since I was a student in a choir several decades ago, but I have been a Fringe audience member for many years.

What’s your favourite thing about the Fringe?

The buzz, the possibilities, the risks.

How have you been preparing for the Fringe? How has the show developed/changed since your original idea?

Our rehearsals have been via FaceTime and telephone sessions, as we’re in different places, so thankful for technology bringing us together! The concept has shifted a little since we started; song choices have become less bleak and gruesome as we’ve realised we can tell the stories we want without sending the audience away traumatised by some of Scotland’s old ballads!

What do you think sets your show apart from all the other Festival offerings? 

We are doing something quite straightforward, perhaps even old-fashioned. We are singing, telling stories and playing harp. Nothing hugely innovative, yet we think that’s one of our strengths. Just singing the songs, telling the stories, and facilitating independent connections to our heartland – we hope you’ll join us.

What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Fringe? 

I don’t want to miss Fuaigh – Interweaving, also at the Storytelling Centre.

If your show was a place in Edinburgh, which place would it be and why?

It has to be outdoors, so Calton Hill. A place with a view of the city, a place that has seen everything, still sees everything and could tell much if it wished.

The Strange and the Eerie: Ballads and Stories of Auld Scotland
Mon 21 – Wed 23 Aug
8.30pm (1hr 30)
£10 (£8) (£7.50 SCS)

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