The north-east's rich oral tradition will be showcased as part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival as the region hosts its own celebration of the craft of tale-telling.
The University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute in partnership with the Grampian Association of Storytellers (GAS) will host the Aberdeen and Beyond Storytelling Festival from October 6 to November 28.
The festival will bring together some of the best storytellers from the region with their international counterparts, featuring stories from Scotland, Nigeria, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Iran, and Syria.
The programme will take place across three different venues - the Sir Duncan Rice Library at the University of Aberdeen, the St Peter’s Heritage Centre in Peterculter, and Aberdeen Arts Centre in Aberdeen.
It is the largest celebration staged in the north-east as part of the international event and the Aberdeen festival will bring together local traditions ranging from ballads to folktales with those from around the world.
Nicolas Le Bigre of the Elphinstone Institute said: “We are blessed in the north-east to have an astonishing array of tale-tellers representing traditions from the region and beyond.
“This year’s local festival of storytelling will be the biggest we’ve organised yet, and we are thankful to the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, which supports us through the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, and to our partners on the ground, the brilliant and indefatigable Grampian Association of Storytellers.
“There will be a huge range of events this year, some highlighting local traditions from the north-east and others like ‘The Voice Shall Always Remain’, featuring Iranian storyteller Zahra Afsah and Syrian storyteller Khloud Ereksousi, which feature significant storytelling traditions from around the world.”
Storyteller and Chair of the Grampian Association of Storytellers Phyll McBain added: “This is a great opportunity to see GAS in action, encouraging the oral tradition at our First Friday Flings and supporting our up-and-coming tellers by asking them to share the stage with our more experienced tellers.
“We’re excited to bring north-east ballad singers and storytellers together on the same stage at our ‘Ballads and Stories’ event on November 17, supported by the Traditional Music and Song Association, and to be able to listen to so many different styles and story cultures within the festival.
“Roll on 6 October for the fun to begin! I can't wait to listen to and be part of such an interesting and wonderful programme of storytelling events right here in the north-east. There will be something for everybody to enjoy, and we can all share the joy of the craft of storytelling.”
To find a full listing of the storytelling festival events, and other events hosted by the Elphinstone Institute throughout the year, see the programme guide https://www.abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone/documents/2023-24_Elphinstone_Institute_Events_Guide_Online.pdf