Following on from fantastic activities last year, a special weekend of events at the Scottish Storytelling Centre will mark Scotland’s national day.
Events marking St Andrew’s Day at the Centre are part of the Year of Homecoming and are supported through Scotland’s Winter Festivals – a programme of events funded by the Scottish Government and managed by EventScotland.
The events will celebrate Scotland’s unique heritage and distinctive culture through the Centre’s stellar line-up of storytelling, song, music, dance and food for all the family, ensuring residents and visitors to the Capital alike can enjoy genuine, top quality Scottish entertainment at an affordable price to fully enjoy St Andrew’s Day Weekend.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: ‘St Andrew’s Day marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Scotland – including our thriving contemporary culture, our rich heritage and our world-renowned warm and friendly welcome.
‘That’s why, once again, we are proudly encouraging Scots and Scots at heart from around the world to join us in celebrating our national day at one of hundreds of brilliant events and attractions taking place across Scotland – including at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, where an exciting and imaginative line-up of activities is planned.’
Scots and Scots-at-heart can be swept away on An Orkney Tapestry on Friday 28 November at 7.30pm as storyteller David Campbell and folk music duo The Wrigley Sisters celebrate poet George Mackay Brown, whose transcendent poetic visions transformed the familiar Orkney scene into something timeless and universal.
On Saturday 29 November, Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook returns after a sell-out last year to showcase Scotland’s fantastic food. Showcasing Scotland’s natural larder with its wealth of local produce tales are served up along with the Queen’s own recipe for ‘Balmoral Drop Scones’.
And while the kids are cooking up a treat, the Centre comes alive with two interactive workshops, as Rachel Newton and Grace Banks unwrap the mutual influence between tale and tune in Song and Story: Between the Worlds, while a host of traditional dancers and musicians come together for a demonstration day in the Traditions of Dance – A Scottish Story. Showcasing quadrilles, hornpipes, flings and introductory sessions to step dance for youngsters, this will be an action-packed day to become immersed in the magic of movement as Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland Coordinator, Michelle Kelly explains: ‘With so many dance teachers coming from across Scotland this is going to be a lively day and a great opportunity to explore Scotland's dance traditions.
‘We're looking forward to welcoming adults and young beginners as well as more experienced dancers. This really is a day for everyone to get involved.’
Then we round off Saturday with an evening of storytelling special memories as Jess Smith celebrates the life, music and influence of Belle Stewart B.E.M in Jess Remembers Belle at 7.30pm.
With special guest Sheila Stewart MBE (daughter and biographer of Belle) be taken on a journey of discovery as Belle’s life is celebrated from beginnings in Caputh through to an enormous influencing power in the travelling community, as Jess Smith explains: ‘Belle Stewart was one of Scotland's finest folk singers but to me she was much more. Every summer, the highlight of my life was the “berry picking” at Blairgowrie. This was a summer of saturated tales, songs and fun. My family were never away from Belle's house in Rattray, it was part of my “growing up.”
‘I gained so much from the atmosphere generated from Belle's home. Indirectly my writings were inspired by this grand lady and this is why I want to remember her “Traveller” style.’
Fri 28 Nov | 7.30-9.30pm | £12 (£10) An Orkney Tapestry: A Celebration of George Mackay Brown in Music, Story and Poem
Sat 29 Nov | 10.30-11.30am | £5 per child | Age 4+ Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook
Sat 29 Nov | 10.30am-4.30pm | £36 (£30 Network Members) Song and Story: Between the Worlds
Sat 29 Nov | 10.30am-4.30pm | £15 (£12) | Age 8+ Traditions of Dance – A Scottish Store
Sat 29 Nov | 7.30-9.30pm | £8 (£6) Jess Remembers Belle