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Markus Luukkonen at The Storey this November

This November, as part of our ongoing storytelling programme Litfest are delighted to welcome internationally renowned storyteller Markus Luukkonen to Lancaster!

Date and Time: Thursday 24th November 7:30pm

Venue: The Storey Auditorium, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1TH

Tickets: £9.50 full/£8 Concession – tickets available online here or In person/by phone: Lancaster Visitor Information Centre, The Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, 01524 582394 (Monday – Saturday 10am-4pm)

‘From the Woods’

 Finland is a land of endless forests and thousands of lakes. The forest is sacred, but it’s the edge of the civilized area, an unknown and frightening place. The vast wilderness has always been full of strange beings. The Devil might be lurking behind the trees; other creatures are watching from the undergrowth. Which are good and which are bad? And how can you be sure?

Markus weaves these traditional tales from his native Finland with narratives from his own life. The result is a string of stories about love, about death, and about dreaming, told in Markus’ down-to-earth and dynamic style. He combines dark Finnish humour with beautiful imagery and a gentle finger on the pulse of the human condition.

Markus Luukkonen is a storyteller from Finland. He studied performing arts in Helsinki and tells stories in clubs, theatres, galleries and festivals. He performs predominantly for adults and in his work he likes to mix personal stories, folktales and myths. He is a founder member of the Finnish Storytelling Association, Samova Storytelling.

Markus is based in Finland, but all his career he has been worked internationally. He has performed at storytelling festivals and clubs in Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. A member of the Executive Committee of the Federation for European Storytelling for three years, he has recently also been touring with the international storytelling company 3Troubadours.

in 2008-2009 Markus traveled over land and sea from Helsinki to Uluru in Australia. He spent nearly two years on the road, and he collected and wrote stories from places he visited. 

Through Autumn 2016 Markus is working as an artist-in-residence in Edinburgh. 

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A Seat of Softest Fur – an evening with performance storyteller Jo Blake Cave

Litfest presents an evening with acclaimed performance storyteller Jo Blake Cave.

A dream of a golden wreath leads a daughter to an encounter with a wild, white bear which sets in motion a journey into the arms of destiny. But little does she know of the mountains she will have to scale to try and reach a  happily ever after…

A retelling of an ancient Norwegian fairytale, this reminds us all to start living the lives we were born to live.

Suitable for adults and children aged 12 +

Price: £8 Full/ £6 Concession

Venue: The Storey Auditorium, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1TH

Tickets NOW AVAILABLE online here, over the counter at Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor Information Centres or by calling 01524 582394.

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Sir Ranulph Fiennes with Sir Chris Bonnington at Lancaster University

On Thursday 29th September 2017 Lancaster Litfest and Lancaster Arts present:
Sir Ranulph Fiennes in conversation with Sir Chris Bonington

Venue: The Great Hall, Lancaster University

Time/Duration: 6.30pm for 7pm start. The Talk with last for 1 hour

Tickets: £25 – £21 (Includes copy of ‘Fear’) available here.

We are delighted to welcome Sir Ranulph Fiennes to Lancaster as he launches his latest book ‘Fear’. During the evening he will be interviewed by Sir Chris Bonington. Each ticket holder will receive a complimentary copy of ‘Fear’ with a signing opportunity at the end of the talk.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes was the first man to reach both poles by surface travel and the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported. He is the only person yet to have been awarded two clasps to the Polar medal for both Antarctic and the Arctic regions. Fiennes has led over 30 expeditions including the first polar circumnavigation of the Earth.

Sir Chris Bonington started climbing at the age of 16. He led a successful expedition making the first ascent of the South West Face of Everest in 1975 and reached the summit himself in 1985. In 2014 Chris, together with Leo Houlding, climbed the Old Man of Hoy at the age of 80.

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Rural Rhythms

Lancaster Litfest has recently received funding from Arts Council England for an exciting new project! This summer we are offering young people living in rural areas of Lancashire and Cumbria a unique opportunity: the chance to work with a professional performance poet.

We can arrange an initial taster performance by the poet at your venue, followed by a series of workshops for the young people who want to write their own poems to perform.

Then we’ll arrange a showcase performance of all the young people taking part in the programme, with the additional opportunity to perform their work at Lancaster Literature Festival in March 2017.

We’ll provide the funding, the expertise and the contacts. All we need from you is a group of 6-10 young people aged between 16-25 who want to take part. Please note that funding is limited, so we can only support four groups of young people.

Please contact John Chell at 01524 770232 or as soon as possible if you want more information or want to take part.

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Coming Soon! Adverse Camber at The Dukes

The nights may be drawing in, but we have something to delight you and take away the sadness of the passing summer.  Litfest, in partnership with The Dukes, brings you Adverse Camber’s acclaimed tour of “Fire in the North Sky: Epic Tales from Finland”.

Be transported by the songs, stories and adventures of Finland’s cultural treasure, the Kalevala.  UK storyteller Nick Hennessey and three virtuoso Finnish musicians;  Kristiina Ilmonen (flutes, vocals, percussion), Anna-Kaisa Liedes (vocals) and Timo Väänänen (kantele, pyngyr, vocals); make these 2000 year old stories come alive with a touch of offbeat fun, enchantment and music that moves between dancing flutes, funky rhythms and hauntingly beautiful sung melodies.

Thursday 6th October at 7.45pm.  Tickets from The Dukes box office on 01524 598500, priced just £12 / £10.

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The Devil’s Purse – a spellbinding storytelling performance by Dominic Kelly, Bridget Marsden and Leif Ottosson

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 Litfest are delighted to welcome back Dominic Kelly as part of his touring production of THE DEVIL’S PURSE.

Is anything truly how we see it? How can we be sure? The Other People are waiting in the shadows, beneath your feet, even in the cracks in the walls: they’re waiting to show you just how hard it is to tell. And on summer nights their world is just a breath away… Come spend some time in the company of Themselves, The Gentry Below, the Fairies – and a labyrinth of stories.

Dominic, Bridget and Leif fuse storytelling performance and music in a wild journey into the cinema of the imagination. A traveller finds help in the mountain mist, a farmer meets a wonderful woman, a drinker discovers a magic purse and a mother worries her child is turning into skin and bone. But they’re all in for surprises: in the midsummer dusk, nothing is as it seems…

2 halves: 50 + 35 minutes

Suitable for adults and children 11 and over

DOMINIC KELLY is a performance storyteller whose dynamic style has captivated audiences across the UK, Europe, and around the world.

BRIDGET MARSDEN and LEIF OTTOSSON are rising young stars of the Swedish Folk Music Scene. Their deeply-felt new take on Scandinavian music is described by Songlines Magazine as “Powerful…thoughtful, inventive…and outstanding.”

Venue: The Storey Auditorium

Date: Tuesday 5th July

Time: 7:30 pm

Tickets: £10 Full/ £8 Concession

Tickets can be purchased here.

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Telling Tales – performance storytelling course


A short course in performance storytelling over two weekends.

Venue for all Telling Tales events: Scorton Village Hall

Weekend 1: Saturday 17th/ Sunday 18th September (10am – 4pm both days)

Weekend 2: Saturday 1st/ Sunday 2nd October (10am – 4pm Saturday 10am-3pm Sunday)

Costs for the full 4-day course: £175 for full price, £75 for concessions.

Please email NOW to register your interest.

Tutor Jo Blake Cave is also performing at the Storey Auditorium in Lancaster on Friday 30th September. Tickets for this event are sold separately and can be purchased here.

Join international storytellers Dominic Kelly and Jo Blake Cave for a short tour through the landscape of crafting and performing a story. Dominic will give participants a toolbox of techniques for composing and preparing a tale for oral telling. In the second weekend, Jo will give an experiential insight into bringing these stories to life in a performance space.

The course is suitable for people who already have some experience in telling stories. The second weekend will involve physical work with the body. Dominic and Jo are founder members of Talking Skull Collective, a peer group of performance storytellers who work together towards artistic growth and development.

They create opportunities to enquire, discover and challenge what they do as artists and people in order to move beyond habitual behaviours to a place of vital creativity and performance.

dom kellyDominic has an international reputation for excellent, intricate and powerful composition in storytelling performance pieces such as Crow, Trickster, The Devil’s Purse and The Hero Light. Described as “a master storyteller” by BBC radio, his dynamic style has captivated audiences across the UK, Europe, and around the world. He has performed on many prominent stages including The Barbican and the National Theatre in London, The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, and on tour from India to the Arctic Circle. He has directed storytelling programmes for festivals across England and is a member of Fabula Storytelling company in Stockholm. He tells stories both in English and Swedish.


jo blake caveJo Blake Cave is a contemporary storyteller whose work includes performance storytelling for theatres, art centres and festivals; and site-specific events that explore the stories of place and belonging. Jo draws from an ever-expanding repertoire of international fairytales, epics and myths.

Since 2010, Jo has been Storyteller-in-Residence at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton, After being highly commended in the 2007 Young Storyteller of the Year Competition she has performed at festivals including Beyond the Border, Festival at the Edge and Alden Biesen; and in venues such as The Barbican and The Soho Theatre.

Jo is an Associate Lecturer on the BA Acting degree course at the University of Northampton, having gained a 1st class honours in Performing Arts at the University of Winchester and an MA with distinction in Dance Theatre from Laban.

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Spotlight Literary Cabaret

SpotlightSpotlight Literary Cabaret – usually the 3rd Friday of each month

A dynamic platform for a wide variety of writers to experiment with words, music and performance. Each Spotlight event opens with an Open Mic session. As these are very popular you may want to book your spot in advance:

Venue: The Storey
Tickets: £4/£2
Doors 7.00pm (Open Mic 7.15-7.45pm)
Booking: On the door

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Square Cuts, Flax001

These are stories of people who want to live forever, unpack the contents of their lives, or simply rub along with one another. From acerbic to hushed, intense to curious, the people in this anthology will haunt you. The places they occupy are illuminated by both their actions and indecisions.

Featuring some of the best writers living and working in Lancashire, Square Cuts begins our new series of anthologies with a collection of stories that are as eclectic as they are entertaining and thought-provoking.

Square Cuts, Flax001

Our first anthology features new work from Lynne Alexander, Mollie Baxter, Jane Eagland, Andrew Michael Hurley, Hendryk Korzeniowski, Ian Seed and Peter Wild. Seven writers with a dazzling array of short fictions.

These are stories of people who want to live forever, unpack the contents of their lives, or simply rub along with one another. From acerbic to hushed, intense to curious, the people in this anthology will haunt you. The places they occupy are illuminated by both their actions and indecisions.

Featuring some of the best writers living and working in Lancashire, Square Cuts is a collection of stories that are as eclectic as they are entertaining and thought-provoking.

Get Square Cuts, Flax001 now!

  • [wpdm_file id=6] Download Square Cuts (5.30mb) This version is designed for you to view on screen and link to audio and web based added content.
  • Download a version of Flax001 DIY Edition you can print at home (5.2mb) This version has been design so you can print it at home, in page spreads, and enjoy it as a pamphlet.
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Over the the past few years Litfest’s Flax imprint has published some fantastic writers from the North West.

We will be putting a range of fabulous ebooks, videos and audio pieces back on display in the very near future.