‘The Scottish Storytelling Centre is always an essential stop… the standard is always high and the permanent theatre is one of the nicest venues on the Fringe.’
(David Chadderton, British Theatre Guide)
The home of Scotland’s Culture and Edinburgh’s year round multi–arts venue presents fourteen hand-picked productions presenting top quality spoken word, theatre, music and puppetry.
The Scottish Storytelling Centre’s 2015 Fringe Festival line-up is an enticing mix of returning favourites and brand new shows, for children, families and adults, who all seek to share a story through different artforms. Storytelling Centre Programme and Events Manager, Daniel Abercrombie states:
“The Centre’s programme is well-known for its quality family shows and this year we have another superb mix of puppet animation and storytelling for all the family. We also have theatre, poetry, music and storytelling for adult audiences, often blurring the lines between the genres.
“Throughout the programme there is a sense of community, local and international, that celebrates friendship and fun. We have sourced high quality art, produced by companies that fit with our friendly venue and we look forward to welcoming you in August!”
Storytelling is intrinsic to every artform and increasingly a buzzword not just for the creative performance approach, but also from the promotional wings. The Home of Scotland’s Stories has a fantastic line-up of spoken word performances to tantalise those who are already lovers of storytelling and those who want to discover the power of poetic verse, told eye to eye, mind to mind and heart to heart.
We are delighted to have storyteller Calum Lykan return with his successful show Brave & Free: Traditional Tales of Scotland which presents the perfect slice of Scotland’s heroic stories throughout history and mythical epics full of selkies, broonies and giants.
Then, for a much more drool take on personal storytelling, Fiona Herbert brings her solo stand-up show Frequently Asked Questions to the Centre after much acclaim last year as part of the Free Fringe. Questioning why Skype boyfriends are better than real ones, why dolphins get such good press and providing advice on how to deal with children you don’t like and losing your best friend… to yoga… Fiona’s quick witted delivery paired with perfect prose will delight in this satirical take on unleashing burdens.
Poetry is shaking off its dust jacket and coming alive with the rise in slam style verse performed with energy and panache. Loud Poets are at the heart of the spoken word revolution and return to the Centre after sell-out, five star performances last year with their unique and engrossing fist-thumping, heart-wrenching slammings.
Featuring the best spoken word artists – including Scottish & Euro slam champ MiKo Berry; writer and dancer Katie Ailes; award-winning performance poet and fiction writer Carly Brown; plus Douglas Garry and his glorious beard – and incorporating a live band, this is poetry for the masses promising an eclectic and electric show every night.
Then spoken word gets the medieval treatment as Xanthe Gresham and Nick Hennessey present Morgana Le Fey, an exploration of King Arthur’s nemesis and sorceress half-sister, which traces the whispers behind her many myths. Gresham’s performance skills together with harp music, games and story checkmate medieval misogyny to present a thoroughly Modern Morgan, lightning rod of Avalon, who gets to be centre stage at last.
Also, the Centre’s monthly storytelling evening, Cafe Voices enjoys a double helping in August, presenting storytelling in the relaxed atmosphere of the Storytelling Court. The Fringe specials will feature host storytellers David Francis (13 Aug) and Ian Stephen (27 Aug), with an open-floor opportunity for narrators and spoken word guests to spin a yarn.
Staff at the Storytelling Centre agree with pedagogue Friedrich Froebelwhen he stated “Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood”, so come play with us and enjoy six sensational shows for youngsters to get interactive with.
Adventureteller Brooke Laing performs and delights children with action-packed The Enchanted Forest Adventure, where a miserable witch has been up to mischief! Performed at the Centre in February with an additional session scheduled due to high demand, this will delight youngsters in preview performances before moving to C-Venues.
We’re delighted to welcome 5* puppet storytelling from Wales with Land of the Dragon – Gwlad y Ddraig which launched at last year’s Fringe. Just as entertaining for adults as it is for children, explore a dark fairy tale created from the myths and legends of the Welsh book of folk tales, The Mabinogion. With marionettes more akin to Warhorse in style than Punch and Judy, PuppetSoup’s unique approach will enchant, delight and entertain all who watch this beautiful, bilingual piece of theatre showcasing puppetry… but not as we know it.
A brilliant title that promises storytelling adventures, Eejits and Hissy Fits is a brand new show by award-winning tale weaver Fiona Herbert. Three storytelling adventures – based on a Celtic legend, a Scottish folk tale and a questionable fairy tale Fiona has hilariously turned on its head – represent stupidity, stroppiness and tantrummy madams in glorious measures, allowing audience participation aplenty!
Over the past few years, Andy Lawrence and his company Theatre of Widdershins have been responsible for some of the most glorious puppet shows on the Fringe, receiving rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, with reviewer Mary Woodward insisting adults should ‘Beg, borrow, or steal a child and see this show!’
After taking a year out last year, they return with their unique blend of traditional stories, modern pantomime and ingenious set design. The Magic Porridge Pot and Other Tasty Tales offers a platter of three yummy yarns you and your yongsters will know well served up Widdershins style toentice the senses and keep big and small appetites hungry for more.
Puppet show The Man Who Planted Trees has been touring the world since 2006 in the hands of Rick Conte and Richard Medrington (Puppet State Theatre) which is testament to how special the production is, enduring and selling out Fringe performances for the past decade. It’s based on Jean Giono’s novel about a shepherd trying to transform a barren landscape with his faithful dog, who has become known as the funniest puppet creation. Ever. A unique, multi-sensory blend of comedy, puppetry and storytelling. If you haven’t seen it before, don’t miss it this year and if you have already seen it, envelop yourself in its magic again.
The Man Who Planted Trees puppet designer, Ailie Cohen showcases her skills once more in The Secret Life of Suitcases which makes its Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut as part of the 2015 Made In Scotland Showcase.
This funny and enchanting puppet show about travel, adventure and the joy of coming home again was originally produced in collaboration with the Unicorn Theatre, the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences. Join Larry – a busy man in his office who enjoys sorting, tidying and having everything in its place – as his world gets turned upside down by a fantastical flying suitcase taking him on a journey of discovery further than he ever thought possible.
Creators Ailie and Lewis Hetherington state:
“We are really excited about taking part in our second Made in Scotland showcase. Our previous collaboration Cloud Man continues to tour extensively across the world and we look forward to sharing Suitcases with audiences.
“We’re passionate about touring and making theatre which is full of visual detail and compelling story, playful and poetic, and invites children and families to reflect on the world around them.”
We welcome the return of Wojtek the Bear in Theatre Objectiv’s moving theatre show which premiered at the Fringe in 2012 to great acclaim for both the writing and the winning central performance of James Sutherland as Wojtek.
This award winning production tells the extraordinary story of Wojtek, a bear adopted by the Polish army, who fought at Monte Cassino, marched across the battlefields of wartime Europe, and was finally homed in Edinburgh Zoo. The story may sound unbelievable, but Theatre Objectiv transforms this true tale into a parable of innocence and cruelty. This touchingly cathartic story of love and loyalty, heroism and hope explores war, what bonds animals to humans, and questions what a bear’s view of humanity might be.
Plus, the Centre is delighted to have Poorboy return after a hugely successful run in 2013 with Pirates and Mermaids – an enchanting one man show exploring national identity, generational differences and divides in a humourous exploration of big questions about belonging, love and family. Featuring music by Patsy Seddon and Shooglenifty, and merging modern machinations with traditional Scottish myths, enter Cameron’s ambitious and universal story told on an intimately human scale in this enticing interactive show.
‘Quietly and conversationally, Jeremiah Reynolds draws us into this very real and human story with a performance of total and intimate authenticity.’ (The Stage)
Scottish Borders based Riddell Fiddles present a multi-age cast to share the story of a remarkable family through a remarkable string instrument. The Cranston Fiddle unfolds the true story of one family’s sacrifices during the First World War, with the fiddle singing its story throughout in the beautiful tone it possesses.
With text and narration by Bob Mitchell and three original compositions by Donald Knox, this performance tells the tale of loss from the unique perspective of the Cranston’s surviving fiddle, through the traditional music it played and continues to play.
The mulit-media project draws you effortlessly into the Cranston’s world with slides presented by local photographer Ian Oliver alongside singers, guitarists, percussion, and whistle and of course, the fiddle.