Performing Stories

Performing Stories

Bringing books to life through performance is a key element of the Book Festival. This year our Playing with Books partnership with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh returns with special one-off interpretations of Sea State by Tabitha Lasley, The Long Drop by Denise Mina and a new writing commission, The Yellow Door by Kathleen Jamie. Former Scots Makar Jackie Kay brings blues singer Bessie Smith to life with her new biography and joins acclaimed jazz and blues vocalist Suzanne Bonnar who performs some of Bessie’s best loved songs. And author Jenni Fagan has worked with the Stellar Quines theatre company and actors from The Citizens Theatre WAC Ensemble to create a masterful new adaptation of You’ve Never Slept in Mine by poet, Scottish author and playwright Jessie Kesson which is performed as a rehearsed reading.  In addition to an array of immersive evening events filled with music, spoken word and storytelling, these are literary events to lose yourself in.  

 

Playing with Books: Sea State by Tabitha Lasley

Wednesday 18 August 20:30 - 22:00

In the fourth year of our celebrated co-productions with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, we present theatrical and musical explorations of scenes from much-loved books, followed by a discussion with the author and creative teams. Sea State is...
 

Songs from Scotland

Monday 23 August 20:30 - 21:30

In honour of Edwin Morgan’s centenary in 2020, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Celtic Connections co-commissioned award-winning musician and composer Gavin Bryars to set five of Morgan’s poems to music. The poems, taken from Morgan’s...
 

Playing with Books: The Long Drop by Denise Mina

Wednesday 25 August 20:30 - 22:00

In the fourth year of our celebrated co-productions with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, we present theatrical and musical explorations of scenes from much-loved books, followed by a discussion with the author and creative teams. The Long Drop is...
 

Jackie Kay: My Libidinous, Raunchy, Fearless Blueswoman

Thursday 26 August 20:30 - 21:30

Captioned
‘Bessie Smith showed me the air and taught me how to fill it.’ And Janis Joplin was certainly not the only person who fell in love with the Tennessee blues singer’s unforgettable voice. As a young Black girl growing up in Glasgow, Jackie Kay found...
Born in an Inverness workhouse in 1916, Jessie Kesson spent her early childhood in an Elgin slum before being moved to an orphanage and eventually being sent to work in service. Despite her inauspicious beginnings, she went on to become an acclaimed...
 

Hysteria: A Post-Apocalyptic Cabaret

Saturday 28 August 20:30 - 22:00

As we emerge from the pandemic and step into the 'new normal', many of us are hungrier than ever to build a better kind of society – one that prioritises community and wellbeing over profit. Cabarets and performance play a major role in this, bringing...
 

Charles Yu: Smashing Hollywood Stereotypes

Sunday 29 August 20:15 - 21:15

What does it take for an actor to attain the status that gives them the tag of ‘Special Guest Star’ in a TV series? It takes something extra – and particularly so if you are an actor of Asian heritage, trying to break through in Hollywood. ...
 

Michael Pedersen presents Good Grief!

Sunday 29 August 20:30 - 22:00

Come bask in the company of your favourite ghosts at the Good Grief! Salon – where the grief comes glittered, gritty and gutsy. We have all lost something over ‘The Big Still’, this last weird epoch of living, be it: time, trips, tips, friends,...
 

Playing with Books: The Yellow Door by Kathleen Jamie

Monday 30 August 17:30 - 19:00

In the fourth year of our celebrated co-productions with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, we present theatrical and musical explorations of scenes from much-loved books, followed by a discussion with the author and creative teams. Kathleen Jamie...

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