Burns Night is one of the biggest events in the calendar in Scotland and 2016 is set to be no different, with no fewer than eight events taking place at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
Between January 21 and February 6, the centre will pay homage to the Bard’s work, life and legacy in a number of events aimed at people of all ages.
The programme is part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals campaign and will include live storytelling, music, workshops, children’s events and a traditional Burns Supper with a twist, all in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
It all begins on Thursday January 21, with Keara Murphy’s acclaimed BBC Radio Scotland show about the love life of Robert Burns. She’ll be dishing the dirt on the Bard, telling Burns’ story through the point of view of the women in his life, complete with live music, storytelling and comedy.
Those less well-acquainted with Rabbie may wish to attend Burns for Beginners, a lively introduction to Burns’ best-known works on Friday January 22. From the poems To a Mouse and Tam O’Shanter to songs Ae Fond Kiss and A Man’s A Man, performers Mark Meiklejohn, Mark Percival and Valerie Sim will walk through some of the highlights of the Bard’s career, accompanied by English subtitles.
Also taking place on January 22, Donald Smith leads Tam O’ Shanter: Telling the Big Tale, a workshop dedicated to Burns’ defining poem. Discover Donald’s lifelong quest to understand the poem and do it justice in the perfect telling, and get some tips on giving the piece a worthy recital.
The following day, younger ones are given their own taste of the Bard in the form of It’s in the Bag: Burnsfest Special, which features two eventful and family-friendly shows on Saturday January 23.
Sam & Rosie's Tartan Tea Party is aimed at under 2s with a dash of Scots rhymes and songs, while Sam & Rosie's Highland Adventure: The Mystery of the Lost Haggis! is an energetic session featuring a Burns Ceilidh.
Later that day, IDEOMS Theatre will present Lords of the Creation… and Other Beasts, a quirky and entertaining look at Burns’ best-loved poems and his love of nature and animals, suitable for ages 12 and up – half-time haggis included!
On Sunday January 24 and Monday January 25, the annual Supper with Burns, event offers a chance to discover the spirit of the Bard while enjoying a three-course meal including the classic haggis, neeps and tatties.
The ever-popular event will see guests treated to a generous helping of Burns stories, songs and lore from storytellers David Campbell and Linda Bandelier, along with music from clarsach player Katie Harrigan.
Performers can pay homage to the Bard on Tuesday January 26 by joining Linten Adie and friends from the Scots Music Group for Café Ceilidh: Celebrating Robert Burns; a free afternoon of songs and music with an open floor space where participants will be encouraged to share their own renditions of Burns’ much-loved work.
Finally, on Saturday February 6, the extensive programme of events will conclude with Christine Kydd’s practical and creative masterclass Burns Songs: Approaches for Solo Singers, with insights and approaches to the Bard’s repertoire delivered in a range of styles.
Burns Night 2016 takes place on January 25, 2016, with the Scottish Storytelling Centre celebrating with two weeks of events. Further details can be found here.