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IF the walls of Stir­ling Cas­tle’s Great Hall could talk, they would have their own ex­tra­or­di­nary tales to tell. How­ever, on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 18, they can stay silent and play host to the Scot­tish In­ter­na­tional Sto­ry­telling Fes­ti­val.

This will be the spec­tac­u­lar venue for this year’s open­ing event, OSSIAN: The Pipes and the Story.

A blend of story, mu­sic, and song, the event brings to­gether some of Scot­land’s lead­ing sto­ry­tellers with out­stand­ing mu­si­cal tal­ent who will share the great Celtic tales of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Diar­maid and Grainne, and Ossian.

The event will be staged by can­dle­light, just as the Stu­art kings would have en­joyed per­for­mances like these – blend­ing sto­ries, po­ems, and mu­sic to bring colour and life to the great Celtic myths and le­gends.

There are ver­sions of the sto­ries of Fionn, Diar­maid and Grainne, and Ossian on both sides of the Ir­ish Sea and this event will tell the Scot­tish tales. Tra­di­tional pip­ing from a stel­lar line-up of Ross Ainslie, Al­lan Mac­Don­ald, Brighde Chaim­beul, Gri­o­gair Labhruidh, and An­gus & Ken­neth MacKenzie will be linked by di­a­logue, with sto­ry­tellers Martin Mac­In­tyre, Ja­nis MacKay, Don­ald Smith and David Camp­bell pro­vid­ing the cap­ti­vat­ing con­nect­ing nar­ra­tive, in Scots and Gaelic.

All of this will form a re­mark­able back­drop to James MacPher­son’s ro­man­tic po­ems of Ossian.

OSSIAN: The Pipes and the Story has been de­vised by Hamish Moore and Don­ald Smith and will be recorded for broad­cast by BBC Ra­dio Scot­land.

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