Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2020 goes online

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is a highlight on Edinburgh's cultural calendar every year, and 2020 will be no exception.

I met my love by the harbour wall. Pic credit: James Newton
I met my love by the harbour wall. Pic credit: James Newton

Through a mixture of live and pre-recorded events, available to view safely online, audiences can thrill to stories and music telling tale of Scotland's beautiful coastlines and waters as the festival focuses on the theme of staying 'In The Flow'.

From October 17 to 31, Scottish and international storytellers will provide entertainment and succour to audiences at home by means of story, music and dance, to provide a bright light as the nights start to grow dark.

The online events will showcase a mixture of firm festival favourites and new strands. The beloved 'Open Hearth' sessions will provide twice daily insights into a 'ceilidh of cultures,' as traditional storytellers from around the globe regale us with stories within the ceilidh tradition. This year, Baba the Storyteller, Peter Chand and Kamini Ramachandran, are amidst those performers.

Within this year's 'Voyage' series, storytellers and musicians celebrate voyages, both imagined and real, that connect Scotland to other coastal countries, showing how we are a nation shaped by the sea. Hear storyteller Nicola Wright tell the tale of 'Scots in the Antarctic,' a family friendly recollection of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-1904 (young ones be advised: this story features penguins, and a dog named Russ). Or delight in Andy Cannon's 'Tales of a Grandson' where, some 724 years ago, a messenger retrieves young princess Margaret of Norway from her homeland with the unexpected news that she's just become the first Queen of Scotland.

The 'Guid Crack' evening story sessions are a long-standing favourite at the SISF, and this year promises to be no exception, as Orkney-based storyteller Fran Flett Hollinrake spins yarns of dark historical tales, while exuberant Glaswegian entertainer Michael Kerins takes a sideways look at life, art, and literature, with plenty of good humour for measure.

The workshop programme strand 'Global Lab' will also return, hosting a series of digital workshops with live participation, allowing storytellers, artists, activists and educators world-wide to join together to discuss sustainability, ecology and healing. These online daily events showcase inspiring examples of creative practice in the arts, education and frontline activism, allowing everyone the opportunity to share, question and discuss.

Be you a storyteller yourself, a listener, or someone new to the craft, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival offers a unique opportunity to be swept away by stories, both traditional and new, wild and moving, raucously funny and quietly educational. Moving many of these events online this year means it is simpler – and cosier – than ever to lose yourself in the glories of a good story.

The festival runs from October 17 to 31.

Many of the online events will be free, though ticketed, but audiences are invited to donate in support of the performers.

To find out more or to book, visit the website, and follow the hashtag #SISFInTheFlow on Twitter