The Storytelling Centre’s April- June programme celebrates renewal & reawakening, with traditions showcased & shared
for contemporary times, from May Day to Midsummer.
April springs into action with events celebrating new life and nature, with storytelling for all ages.
Jan Bee Brown shares nautical stories, visiting Norwegian troupe Story Squad share the traditional folktale and transformation story of White Bear King Valemon, and storyteller Lea Taylor brings tales from her new book – Animals, Beasties and Monsters of Scotland – to life for a wild afternoon, including making your own beastie to take home, ensuring inspiration and fun for everyone across the Easter holidays.
Beltane or May Day marks the traditional move to outdoor life as the days get longer and brighter. You can join the troupe of musicians and mummers weekly for practice ahead of the May Day Procession on Saturday 4 May, after celebrating the return of Edinburgh’s Tradfest, with a host of events at the Centre, from young collective Gnoss making waves in the scene and popular Family Beltane and Family Ceilidh sessions, to centenary celebrations of folk legends Pete Seeger and Hamish Henderson.
The Centre backdrops these events with a stunning exhibition of Douglas Scott photography, capturing Scotland’s monoliths, while storyteller Stuart McHardy reveals the folklore legends behind the structures at The Stones of the Ancestors.
The Centre is delighted to host Gala Week Stories in association with Luminate and the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, which highlights a social history tradition where community took centre stage and brought young and old together, as bunting was proudly displayed as floats and parades travelled along the main street with music, fancy dress and garlands amidst the coronation ceremony of the May Queen. Bea Ferguson, Jane Mather, Lea Taylor and Jan Bee Brown will reminisce on these traditions with personal stories accompanied by crafts, tea and cake.
June sees the finale of the First Footing Residency with talks, masterclasses and performances from top traditional dancers Nic Gareiss, Sandy Silva and Colin Dunne, and nature is still in focus with The Seven Hills of Edinburgh and Tirumala exhibition, with Café Voices sharing the stories, as well as the opportunity to enjoy stories in situ, as Donald Smith leads an evening storytelling walk of Arthur’s Seat.
We can’t wait for the second instalment of new quarterly showcase, Storytelling True Facts. June’s session is exploring inventions in the run up to the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon. From paper inventor Cai Lun to world wide web originator Tim Berners-Lee, enjoy tales of discoveries and facts that make you go wow!
Don’t forget, monthly regular sessions are great opportunities to dip your toes into trad and see how welcoming and rewarding they can be, with Café Voices, Café Ceilidh and Bal Folk in our spacious Court, and upstairs at The Waverley Bar for Guid Crack Storytelling Sessions and The World’s Room.