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Arran storyteller Marty Ross has plans to establish Arran as a traditional storytelling centre and thanks to a generous grant from Visit Scotland, as part of their Year Of Stories, he hopes to accomplish his dream.
A practitioner of the modern method of the traditional Celtic art of storytelling, Marty Ross has a well-established career as a writer of audio drama for the likes of BBC Radio and Big Finish’s Doctor Who series.
Most recently he has written a series of epic-scaled audio dramas for Audible involving talent ranging from Stephen Fry to Catherine Tate to Omid Djalili to the London Symphony Orchestra, but he also loves to perform his work in this most traditional and ‘unplugged’ of forms.
Under the auspices of Roots Of Arran, the community woodland on the hillside above Brodick, Marty will perform a summer season of stories, comprising four performances a week, with tales ranging from light-hearted daytime fairy tales to more adult-oriented ‘eco-Gothic’ storytelling for evening performance, the tales to be enacted by way of walks through the atmospherically landscaped woodland.
Marty said: ‘There’s an opportunity here to put Arran on the map as one of Scotland’s centres for traditional storytelling, a place you come to enjoy this very particular kind of dramatic performance, in the way folk go to Stratford on Avon to see Shakespeare.
‘But we need the support of the community, for it to see this as not simply something for tourists but as part of the island’s cultural life – and to embrace the idea that storytelling isn’t solely for kids but can be as mature and complex a form of drama as the grittiest film or TV or conventional theatre.’
As a preview of this approach, Ross is performing one of his stories, The Ballad of the Driftwood Mermaid at the Cladach beach hut of Arran Botanical Drinks next Friday May 20.
It will be a contemporary ‘folk horror’ update of a classic folk tale of Scotland’s south west coast. Further information about this event can be requested by email from firstname.lastname@example.org