Once upon a time a festival was launched

Launching Falkirk Storytelling Festival are, left to right, Holly Goutcher, Margaret Foy from the Howgate, Greig Pirrie of Eden, Gillian Gardner of The Faw Kirk and Spy Quest author David Goutcher
Launching Falkirk Storytelling Festival are, left to right, Holly Goutcher, Margaret Foy from the Howgate, Greig Pirrie of Eden, Gillian Gardner of The Faw Kirk and Spy Quest author David Goutcher

Book your place at the district’s new four-day event which will bring together a host of authors and musicians.

Falkirk Storytelling Festival takes place from Thursday to Sunday, September 21-24.

Across a range of venues in the heart of the town, it will feature nationally recognised authors along with home-grown literary talent.

It will also have a rare performance by legendary Falkirk singer-songwriter Brian McNeill.

Amongst the authors taking part are top crime writer Christopher Brookmyre, children’s authors Bob Harris, David McPhail, Alan Dapre and Chae Strathie, together with Fergus McNicol and Ronnie Fairweather from Macastory.

Hallglen author Alan Bissett will perform his play the Moira Monologues and Falkirk-based literary collectives The Write Angle, the Rooftop Writers and The Literary Lounge will showcase local talent over the run of the festival.

Falkirk Library and the Howgate will both host Bookbug and AppyPlay events for youngsters, with the shopping centre as the starting point for a Spy Quest treasure hunt.

The interactive game devised by David Goutcher, originally from Kirkintilloch, turns youngsters into mini James Bonds as they work their way through a variety of missions.

The Howgate will also play host to the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre and a Comic Strip Workshop by John Fardell.

Historian Ian Scott will be appearing to reflect on some of his favourite memory lane articles from The Falkirk Herald.

Margaret Foy from the Howgate said: “We have managed to collect an incredible array of events to suit all tastes and ages. The programme offers an exciting mix of interactive workshops and author events, and it’s great to see local businesses and groups working together to deliver a new festival for the town centre.

“We also have a story writing competition and a book appeal to support rural libraries in Kenya. Books can be dropped off at our help desk until the end of September.”

Brian McNeill, founding member of The Battlefield Band, will be hosting a musician’s workshop on the Saturday, as well as playing a concert in The Faw Kirk that evening. Other folk music events presented by the local folk club will take place on the Thursday and Friday nights.

Gillian Gardner from The Faw Kirk said the initial plan was to hold a book festival but after talking to others realised by working together something bigger could take place.

She said: “This event offers us an opportunity to build on the success of other concerts we’ve hosted here and help to create a positive impact for the town centre.”

Douglas Cameron from Falkirk design agency Eden and one of those involved in setting up the festival said: “This is all about the captivating magic of stories – regardless of whether they are real or imaginary, written, performed, convey in song or spoken word.”

Tickets for events are on sale now via the website www.falkirkstorytelling.com and at the Howgate help desk. Many events are free and these can be reserved from the Howgate and Eventbrite.