Visitors from around the world are being invited to the Scottish Storytelling Centre for this year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival – in-person and online!
Tickets are now on sale for the hybrid festival, which runs from October 15 to 31. Performers from around the world will harness storytelling to celebrate diversity, different cultures, abilities and ethnicities.
Last year’s storytelling festival explored the waters of Scotland as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters.
Ahead of SISF 2021, we’ve put together this list of some of the must-see performances you need to get tickets for.
Welcome to the Scottish International Storytelling Festival
There’s probably no better place to start than the festival’s opening concert Roch the Wind.
A feminine meditation of Hamish Henderson’s iconic Freedom Come A’ Ye, fusing music, words and imagery in a hymn to belonging, to home, and to freedom.
Written and performed by Janis Mackay, with Rowan Zeinu and Gica Loening, with photographs by Catriona Murray and dramaturgy by Liam Hurley.
The science of storytelling with Nicola Wright
From Floor Sweeper to Climate Pioneer tells the little known story of James Croll the Scottish janitor born into poverty and dogged by ill health who became the self-taught father of climate science.
Using storytelling, props, film animation and historical interpretation, storyteller Nicola Wright will present Croll’s theories – which inform today’s study of climate change – and tell the story of his remarkable life to a family audience.
Be moved by the art of storytelling
Mohan: A Partition Story is a moving, visceral and emotive storytelling performance by Niall Moorjani, which retells their Grampa’s experiences of the Partitioning of India.
With first-person telling from ‘Mohan’s’ perspective, the story is interwoven with fascinating and, at times, haunting historical insight. An evocative and thought-provoking evening of oral storytelling, with accompanying live music.
Storytelling in the 21st century
In Oracles, Millennial woman, Sarah Grant, struggles to live up the legacy of her grandmother, the “Oracle of Glasgow”: she who sees all, hears all, tells all.
As a modern storyteller, Sarah tries (and fails) to translate traditional storytelling to see how it might work in places such as the family WhatsApp group chat, on TikTok, marketing adverts and many many more.
How can the lessons learned at our ancestors’ knees survive in the digital world? Does the legacy of women passing down stories end with the current generation? Oracles is a story about family, legacy, womanhood and traditional storytelling, grounded in a mix of traditional storytelling and spoken word.
In Ladies Who Like it, storytellers Marie Louise Cochrane and Heidi Docherty imagine a space where women could tell and hear each other’s joyful, life-affirming stories about sexuality, shared with warmth, compassion and knowing laughter.
With musical accompaniment and original songs from Suzanne Fivey they will host an evening of humorous, inspiring and informative contemporary collected tales about sex, presented for the wellbeing and inspiration of other women, and for those who care about them.
Make connections through stories
Legendary conservationist John Muir is celebrated in a new show, John Muir and the Missionary’s Dog, by Richard Medrington and Rick Conte from The Man Who Planted Trees and storyteller Andy Cannon.
They invite us to follow Muir from a window ledge in Dunbar to the brink of a crevasse in Alaska to find out what connects this conservation pioneer, a remarkable dog and an indigenous tribe clinging on to their culture and their land.
Be gripped by stories and songs
In Wolf Girl, storyteller Daiva Ivanauskaitė and singer Agnė Čepaitytė present the true story of Ingrid Ramm from Königsberg, a city that no longer exists.
After WWII thousands of orphans from East Prussia travelled to Lithuania in search of food and shelter. These children are known as Wolfskinder. Ingrid Ramm was one of them, a lonely young refugee who fought for survival with the help of imagination, determination and luck.
Daiva’s family opened their doors to the Wolf Girl. This storytelling performance combines fragile memories, fantastic tales and classical German songs – the ones Ingrid’s mother used to sing.
All of these shows are part of the ‘Imagine’ series, which was specially commissioned for the festival. But they are just a few of the many fantastic events that will be performed at the Scottish Storytelling Centre for in-person and online audiences during the festival.
There will also be in-person iconic Open Hearth events, family events, walking tours, art exhibition and a rich online offering including Global Lab workshops (looking at environmental challenges) and the Global Hearth series (featuring storytellers from abroad).
For the full programme and to get tickets, visit the Scottish International Storytelling Festival website.