Brave and Free: Traditional Tales of Scotland

There is just something about storyteller Callum Lykan. Call it charm, charisma or the x-factor he has, that intangible je ne sais quoi that makes you want to listen to him for hours.

We contribute ideas and images to his stories, his set shaped around our suggestions as he pulls out appropriate tales from his 300-strong repertoire of stories.

He’s a pretty big guy. Towering above us in a kilt and metal-capped boots, he’s not exactly your average storyteller type. But if the Fringe teaches you one thing, it is never to judge a book by its proverbial cover.

Lykan is knowledgeable, friendly and articulate. He builds a quick and easy rapport with the audience by asking them questions and poking fun at them with a few jokes. We contribute ideas and images to his stories as well, his set shaped around our suggestions as he pulls out appropriate tales from his impressive 300-strong repertoire of stories.

Through a neat combination of varied pace, pitch and repetition he weaves his imaginative and original narratives together. The stories change daily based on the specifics of what the audience gives him but on this occasion they included a traveller who makes soup for a whole village from nothing but a stone, a creation story about the giant who made midges appear in Scotland, a romping retelling of the battle of Bannockburn and one about a man who goes fishing but ends up being kidnapped by three witches.

Totally unpretentious and understated, the show is just a man in a room telling stories from his memory. It would take a cold heart indeed to have not to fall in love with Lykan: within five minutes he will convince you there is nowhere else you need to be. 

Reviews by Lettie Mckie

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The Blurb

Scotland, a land steeped in myth and legend. The real Scot, kilted storyteller Calum Lykan, nominee for the Best Newcomer 2013 (British Awards of Storytelling Excellence) introduces you to his magical Scotland. Tales full of giants, broonies and selkies with heroic stories of kings of old and warriors out of the mists of time. Enjoy some Scottish folklore on the Fringe!