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Ailie Finlay

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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 intriguing props to smell and squish which bring her stories to life and offers 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, under-fives and babies. She loves to train people in the art of multi-sensory storytelling and 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, then 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, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 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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