Ailie Finlay tells her own unique multi-sensory adaptations of traditional tales from Scotland and around the world, with some of her own stories mixed in as well. She has worked as a storyteller and puppeteer for the past twenty years, and has her own small company: Flotsam and Jetsam Puppets and Stories.
Ailie uses delightful handmade puppets and props to bring her stories to life. There are always lots of intriguing props to smell and squish and plenty of joining-in.
Ailie is particularly interested in telling tales with and for people with additional needs, but also enjoys working with primary-aged children, the under-fives and babies. She loves to train people in the art of multi-sensory storytelling and also creates multi-sensory story resources for other people and organisations to use.
Ailie grew up in the borders. She originally studied puppetry at the London School of Puppetry and storytelling with Scottish storyteller Janis Mackay. In 2010 she was awarded an Artist’s Bursary by Creative Scotland to develop a set of multi-sensory stories based on Scottish folktales, aimed particularly at children with very complex additional needs. She often works in partnership with other organisations, including long term projects with the Scottish Storytelling Centre (Story Kist sessions), Festival Theatre (Edinburgh), Sense Scotland and PAMIS. In 2014 she received a second Artist’s Bursary to develop a set of tactile folktales designed for people with severe visual and hearing impairments.
Ailie’s work is underpinned by a belief that telling and hearing stories is a fundamental human experience, which everyone should have a chance to enjoy.
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