Mara Menzies: A Story of Identity – An Edinburgh International Book Festival Event


Perhaps because it is such a natural human impulse, storytelling has sometimes been overlooked as an art form. Yet we are content to take it for granted as a building block for films, plays and the written word. Mara Menzies is a performance storyteller whose cross-cultural upbringing gives her work a freshness and vitality that makes it perfect for audiences unfamiliar with watching storytelling on stage. Born and raised in Scotland, Menzies also has links to Kenya through her mother and her mixed heritage is central to her acclaimed project Blood and Gold which, according to the Guardian, she performed ‘with choreographic grace and a mesmerising delivery.’ A hit show at the Fringe in 2019, it was an exploration of the legacy of colonialism – a topic highly relevant in different ways both to Scotland and Kenya. Blood and Gold is now about to be published in book form, and today Menzies shares extracts from her performance as well as discussing the fascinating background to her project, inspired by the two countries which have forged her storytelling approach.

This is a live event, with an author Q&A. If buying a ticket to watch the event in-person, the author will be on stage, in the venue.

(The Edinburgh International Book Festival will be a hybrid Book Festival in 2021 – a fabulous online programme of over 250 events for adults and children, streamed live on the website. Alongside, they will welcome in-person audiences for a wide range of the events in the programme, which you can book on their website. This year’s Book Festival will take place from Saturday 14 to Monday 30 August at their new Festival home: the University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh College of Art on Lauriston Place in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.)

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Friday 20 Aug 2021
Baillie Gifford Theatre (in West Court), Edinburgh. United Kingdom