Tales to tell at Bookends – no strings attached

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When did you last look up your chimney? And have you ever wondered what lived up there?

Storyteller and puppeteer Alison Clarke will be at Bookends Festival next Saturday to tell a few tales, including one about the Bodach, a bogeyman in Gaelic folklore, who made himself at home up smokey flues.

Suitable for children aged over five, Alison’s stories will be brought to life with glove and finger-puppets against the moving panorama of a crankie – very popular in America in the last century. Fifteen metres of hand-painted plasticised paper gets rolled about as the story is told around it, says Alison, whose husband made it specially for her.

‘It’s quite a big thing even though it’s collapsible so with all the puppets and other bits and pieces I’ll need for the show, it’s going to be quite a lot to bring to Benderloch from my home on Bute but I’m looking forward to it,’ said Alison, who worked as an actor and writer before launching her not-for-profit Triple Aspect Puppet Company in 2015

This is third time lucky for Alison, who had to turn down two previous Bookends’ invites because the dates clashed.

‘It’s the first time I’ve been able to make it. I’m so glad they asked me again. My tales are not just for children. Some can be a bit dark so age five upwards is a good starting point,’ added Alison, whose tales at Bookends will also feature a chicken and one called The Crow Moon.

Alison’s free storytelling sessions at the Victory Hall are on Saturday September 21  at  3.30pm and 4.15pm.

This year’s festival starts on Friday September 20 with a preview night in the hall, keeping company with singer/songwriter Adrian Nation and his musical stories including The Benderloch Stone, starting at 8pm. Tickets are £5.

Writer and poet Kenneth Steven officially launches the packed festival at 3pm on Saturday September 21.

Go to bookends.scot or go to Bookends Festival Benderloch on Facebook.