Time for a story from Orkney

Tickets for the 2023 Orkney Storytelling Festival will go on sale from 1st October, with another packed programme of events planned over the last weekend of the month.

The festival, organised by the Orcadian Story Trust, celebrates Orkney’s oral tradition and the art of storytelling around the world.

Featuring story walks, special locations, island hopping adventures, and plenty of story sessions in-between, the festival has become an established and much-loved annual event on the Orkney calendar since it returned in 2010.

At its heart is a celebration of folklore and friendship, with local storytellers joined by guest from around the world over the course of its four days. This year, Shonaleigh Cumbers, tradition bearer for her Jewish culture, will tells stories that have been passed down for generations, from grandmother to granddaughter.

She’ll be joined by Peter Chand, whose heritage is in the Punjab. His stories from India have been described as ‘spellbinding’ and ‘thrilling’.

And, for the first time, the storytellers will be joined by an artist, bringing the visual arts and oral storytelling together. Katherine Souter, whose work can be seen on the covers of many storytelling books, will be live-drawing along with Shonaleigh’s stories.

The 2023 festival will begin on Thursday 26th October with a walking tour of the cemetery at St Peter’s Kirk in South Ronaldsay, and culminate on Sunday 29th October with a grand finale at the Stromness Community Centre. Other locations on the programme include the Old School at Quoyloo, the Hoy Kirk, St Magnus Cathedral, and the annual pilgrimage to the unique Betty’s Reading Room at Tingwall.

If you’re visiting Orkney this October, don’t miss the chance to be part of the storytelling tradition of the islands.

Tickets are available online from the Orkney Storytelling Festival website from Sunday 1st October, and any remaining will be available on the door of each event (except at Betty’s Reading Room – due to limited seats, tickets for this event must be purchased beforehand as none will be available on the door).

Find out more with the Orcadian Story Trust on Facebook.

The 2023 festival is kindly supported by the Orkney Islands Council Culture Fund and the Scottish International Storytelling Festival.

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