Everyone loves a good story, and especially a good story told well. The Orkney Storytelling Festival has both of those bases covered, that's for sure.
The event has become one of the most popular fixtures on the Orkney calendar and the 2018 edition runs between the 25th and 28th of October. A packed programme brings together expert storytellers from the islands and further afield, all armed with their own folk tales, legends and sagas.
The Festival is a warm, witty and welcoming way to immerse yourself in Orkney’s rich history and heritage. In 2017 the focus was on Nordic, but this year sees our Celtic connections take centre stage.
Guest storytellers for 2018 include Heather Yule, who brings tales of Scottish Travellers to life, sometimes with the clarsach, or Celtic harp, weaved into her stories. She’ll be joined by Claire McNicol, from Northern Ireland, who paints a vivid picture with stories from the Emerald Isle.
They’ll be joined by Dr Nela Scholma-Mason, who will bring her knowledge of the Ness of Brodgar excavations to the event. Also taking part will be musician Scott Gardiner and local favourites Fran Flett Hollinrake, Marita Luck, Erin Farley and Tom Muir.
As always, the Festival is visiting a wide range of locations in Orkney, making sure that all corners of these islands can join in the fun. You can learn about the secrets of St Michael’s Church graveyard in Harray with a special walk, and cross the Churchill Barriers to St Margaret’s Hope for stories of fairies, hogboon and more!
There will also be tales and tunes about the islands at the Gable End Theatre in Hoy, plus events at the beautiful Betty’s Reading Room and in the Lynnfield Hotel too.
It really is a busy and varied programme with something for everyone. Word is beginning to spread about this excellent event too, with a continued growth in enthusiasm for traditional stories.
The Orkney Storytelling Festival has a reputation as ‘the little festival with the big heart’. Why not take it to your own heart this October?