The Edinburgh Festival Fringe at the Scottish Storytelling Centre 2021 Is Live!

After 18 months without live events, the Scottish Storytelling Centre is delighted to invite audiences back into the venue this August for the 2021 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with a programme of live and online shows that covers music, storytelling, spoken word, theatre and visual art.

Eight live shows will be presented in the Netherbow Theatre, alongside two online performances and an exhibition in the Storytelling Centre Court that will run for the duration of August.

Programme Manager Daniel Abercrombie says:

The Scottish Storytelling Centre’s Festival Fringe programme showcases stories which have been waiting to be told. Stories of long-distance love and inspirational musicians, of animals we can learn from and of politicians, good and bad… Stories which merge with music, poetry and theatre to connect with you in a live experience once again, with online options available as well.

In the storytelling tradition there is an old traveller proverb which reflects this perfectly, ‘the story is told eye to eye, mind to mind and heart to heart’. We are excited to be open again, and we look forward to welcoming new and old friends with an open door and a creative and authentic Edinburgh experience.

Spoken Word

Loud Poets once again present the top spoken word talent this year’s festival has to offer in a series of riotous, laugh-out-loud funny evenings that brings poetry to the masses. The word acrobats will be joined by a stellar line-up of guests, making each night and each performance a unique experience.


Connecting audiences with the magic of Celtic traditions, Storyteller Alice Fernbank and musician Graham Dickson recount the epic Celtic tale of The Golden Fly, about a shape-shifting goddess forced to wander the earth in search of truth.

After their 2019 sold-out Fringe success performance Walk the Oars, Danish Storyteller Svend-Erik Engh and Scottish musician Neil Sutcliffe return to the Netherbow stage to tell the tale of Wolves Within. The performance combines storytelling and music, bringing to life the symbolism of the wolf in stories from across the globe.


Andy Cannon takes audiences on a thousand-year journey from fact to fiction and back again. Is This A Dagger?, his renowned one-man, family-friendly adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Scottish Play’.  A perfect introduction for newcomers to this wicked tale, and a fresh take on it for Shakespeare aficionados.

Multiple award-winning production Thunderstruck tells the tale of tragically deceased musician Gordon Duncan and the indelible mark he left on the history and traditions of bagpiping. Written and performed by David Colvin, the play was the recipient of a 2019 Herald Angel and Scottish Arts Trust Award.

Sometimes things get so bad, the only resort is to imagine them worse – and then laugh at the nightmare. Perthshire maverick Gussie McCraig, performed by Christopher Craig, joins No.10 as a Scottish adviser in The Liard Strikes Back. Can nothing halt the irresistible rise of Scotland’s greatest sleazebag in Brexit Britain?

Maria MacDonell’s tale of a Scottish seamstress intimately weaves the hills of Glenesk to Canada’s Klondike gold rush in Miss Lindsay’s Secret. Using original live music, drama and historical material from Glenesk Museum, the play unravels a lively and moving local story, woven into Scotland’s national identity, reaches across time and continent.


Puppet State Theatre Company present two specially-recorded online performances, both of which will be followed up with a live Q+A.

Leaf By Niggle is an acclaimed adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s fantastical tale, with sound design from Karine Polwart and MJ McCarthy; and The Man Who Planted Trees blends puppetry and storytelling in a multi-award-winning adaptation that toured for almost 14 years, with repeat appearances at the Sydney Opera House and off-Broadway.

Visual Art

Thistles, Sunflowers and Dreamscapes is a first major solo show in five years from Bulgarian-born, Edinburgh-based artist Diana Savova. Featuring over 30 new works in ink, oil and acrylic, the exhibition reflects on notions of displacement and home, both in the context of migration and the pandemic.

Book Tickets

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, online and in person at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Fringe Venue 30, 6 – 30 August 2021.

For further information, images and interview requests please contact James Pettinger email: and Daniel Abercrombie email: