History, music and the traditions that make Scotland unique are the focus of St Andrew’s Day at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, a day-long celebration of Scotland on Saturday 28 November. Part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme, this year’s events include storytelling, ceilidh dancing and music, offering a fun, lively day out for all ages.
As the Centre’s Programme & Events Manager Daniel Abercrombie says:“This year’s ST ANDREW’S DAY celebrations offer authentic Scottish entertainment for all the family, with opportunities for audiences to participate in the activities as well. The programme reflects on Scotland’s past, but also looks forward to what the future could hold.”
Andy Cannon (pictured) delves into Scottish history with two performances of Oor Scotland (11am & 2pm, £8/6), a condensed version of last year’s successful Tales of a Grandson. Twice nominated for the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, the play is a contemporary response to Walter Scott’s classic history of Scotland, Tales of a Grandfather, written to his young grandchild, as Andy explains:
“One Saturday morning, long ago when I was wee, my Grandpa and I set off in his Hillman Imp on a quest to dig up Scotland’s past. It was a truly unforgettable journey, a long winding road on which I discovered that history was not just a tale of long dead folk; but rather the rich story of us – you and me!”
Filled with playful stories and live music provided by Wendy Weatherby, Oor Scotland takes us on a time travelling adventure through Scotland’s past, piecing together the myriad of kings, queens, friends and foes that make up our nation’s story. A fantastic family show, suitable for ages 6+.
The Storytelling Court will then be filled with the sound of toes tapping and hands clapping at the afternoon’s Family Ceilidh (3pm, £6/4), a fun introduction to Scottish social dancing for all ages. Don’t worry if you don’t know your Strip the Willow from your Dashing White Sergeant – all dances will be called, and there’ll be easier circles for the little ones. Our last Family Ceilidh was a total sell-out, so book in advance!
In the evening, musician Bob Murray will explore the possibilities and problems of finding A National Anthem for Scotland (7.30pm, £8/6). Though Flower of Scotland is often used as a de facto anthem, especially at sporting events, there are at least seven other songs which are seen as potential candidates for the official title. Bob will play and discuss the pros and cons of each before discussing how Scotland might go about adopting one of these tunes – do we need to make a choice? If so, how do we do it?
As Bob states: “I’ve spoken to many people on the subject over the years, and it seems that the more informed people are, the wider the spread of preference. This talk should set people thinking. I’ll not be telling folk what they should like, but offering some tools to help them decide better.” Read more here.
In addition to the Saturday celebrations, Linten Adie and friends from the Scots Music Group will host a special St Andrew’s Day of Café Ceilidh on Tuesday 1 December – a lively afternoon of songs and music celebrating Scotland’s patron saint, with free entry for all.