Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2008

While storytelling may be a bed-time ritual in households all over the world, many leave the delights of storytelling behind them as they mature, thinking that it is only meant for children. The Scottish Storytelling Center in Edinburgh shows that anyone of any age can enjoy this age-old past-time and invite all who want their imaginations stirred up by tales from far and wide to join them at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2008. The theme of this year’s event, which will take place from 24 October to 2 November, is “Northlands and Sagalands”.

This annual celebration of both contemporary and traditional storytelling is a gathering of artists and audiences from within Scotland’s borders and beyond. Visitors to the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2008 can enjoy live storytelling performances, workshops and discussions, as well as thought-provoking talks and loads of fun family activities. In keeping with the theme of “Northlands and Sagalands”, guest storytellers from Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Alaska and Greenland will present stories, tales, sagas, myths and the fascinating histories of cultures from their homelands, while Scottish storytellers from all corners of this marvelous country join in with their unique experiences, traditions and stories.

As one of Finland’s leading storytellers, Heli Aaltonen, has a treasure-trove of traditional Finnish stories to tell, as well as singing traditional ballads. Jack Dalton from Alaska uses his dramatic storytelling talents to entertain audiences with tales devoted to the Yup’ik Inuit culture of Alaska and its neighboring territories. Jack’s performance includes, Raven Returns, the epic creation tale of the Yup’ik people. With his in-depth knowledge of Norse history and culture, together with an incredible sense of humor, Jerker Fahlström takes his audience on an exciting journey with tales of battles, voyages and adventure. Other visiting storytellers include husband and wife team, Ingi and Sigurbord from Iceland, Nina Naesheim and Maritha Nielsen of Norway, as well as Mats Rehnman of Sweden.

Ian Stephen from Lewis, Lawrence Tulloch from Shetland and Tom Muir from Orkney are among the Scottish storytellers who will be weaving a web of wonderful tales to catch the attention of all who are listening. Storyteller, singer and a founding member of the Scottish Storytelling Forum, David Campbell, expressed his confidence that the 2008 Scottish International Storytelling Festival will entertain audiences of all ages, from all over. So if you are a budding storyteller, interested in storytelling traditions, or just want a fun and unusual night out, be sure to get to the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2008.