The Scottish Storytelling Centre has a long legacy of keeping its ancient art alive in children. Rather than investing in expensive sets or huge casts, they leverage their biggest asset: young imaginations.
Andy Cannon rocks a wooden sword and paper crown aesthetic. All it takes are a few simple props, a dash of sound effects and one magnificently versatile voice to transport a room of wriggling, gurgling children to awe-struck eyes peeking out between fingers.
Straightforward yet captivating, this kilt clad storyteller recalls the fog and the rain, the kings and their cousins from 17th century Scotland in this retelling of Macbeth. Mature themes are touched on in small doses, softened with humour and then directly and earnestly addressed as the drama the story is famed for draws out.
Affected falsettos may grate on the older viewer’s ears, but parents will appreciate that amid the simplified and relatable language, Andy makes sure to retain some of Shakespeare’s most iconic lines. “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!” echo back a room of gleeful voices.
Students will be prepared to show up before their teachers after summer not just with a new appreciation for Shakespeare’s story, but with the real facts of Macbeth’s life and Shakespeare’s motivations for fabricating a few facts.
Sometimes conversational, sometimes theatrical but never stationary, if anyone is capable of combining homespun storytelling and complex drama, it’s Andy Cannon. The world’s first purpose built storytelling centre has an important tradition of bringing the heart-warming art of storytelling to Edinburgh and this Fringe is no exception.
Words: Emily Hall
Picture: Sandy Butler
Is This A Dagger? The Story of Macbeth, The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Aug 12-20 (not 17), 3pm