A little bit of magic in store at first-ever Andrew Lang Fairy Festival

Four-year-old Eilidh Steel launches the first ever Andrew Lang's Fairy Tale Festival in the gardens of The Haining, Selkirk. 
Photo by Colin Hattersley.
Four-year-old Eilidh Steel launches the first ever Andrew Lang's Fairy Tale Festival in the gardens of The Haining, Selkirk. Photo by Colin Hattersley.

A brand new Festival of Fairy Tales, inspired by The Rainbow Fairy Books of Selkirk-born Andrew Lang will take place in his native Border town over three days from Thursday – Saturday, July 21-23.

Lang, born in 1844, delighted generations of children with his 12 books; each packed with magical fairy tales and stories from every corner of the globe. Now this delightful new Fairy Tale Festival sprinkles Lang’s magic far and wide in a three-day kaleidoscope of lively events.

There can be a no more magical setting for a Fairy Tale Festival than Selkirk’s Haining, which was one of Lang’s favourite childhood haunts. It is the perfect landscape for princes and princesses to hold their fairy trysts; for fairies to make magic and goblins to wreak their mischief.

One of the Festival’s undoubted highlights is Borders Youth Theatre’s major new summer performance, There Be Fairies – also inspired by Lang’s work. This innovative theatrical event directed by John Haswell and staged by young actors from right across the Borders, giving five simultaneous performances.

All children are invited to come to the Festival dressed as a Fairy Tale character, to enjoy not only magical story telling, puppet shows, pixie picnics and fairy processions but also exhibitions featuring Beatrix Potter’s furry creatures and other favourites.

There are talks and discussions for grown-ups too. Keynote speaker and Scotland’s leading cultural historian Dr. Lizanne Henderson reveals the spiritual and historical context that informed fairy belief from the middle ages until the time of Lang’s writing, while there will be open discussion led by Selkirk-born actor John Nichol, on the influence Lang’s Rainbow Fairy Books had on those who discovered them as children.

All-day entrance tickets are £1, available from The Bookworm, 59 High Street, Liberty Star Trading, and Scott’s Selkirk shop (all in Selkirk).

Tickets for Borders Youth Theatre: There Be Fairies cost £7, (£5 concessions), and are available in advance by calling 07392 824301 or emailing info@bordersyouththeatre.co.uk They are also available from the ticket outlets above.