Transforming the tale of the whale.
Storyteller Jan Bee Brown and musician Renzo Spiteri take us on a new immersive journey that bears witness to 200 years of stories and songs of Shetland’s former whaling industry, reinterpreting the tale of the whale through story and music.
From boom to bust and back, for centuries the whaling industry depended on the bravery and expertise of men from The Northern Isles who witnessed the dangers and the demise of Arctic whaling through over-fishing. Whales are once again big business with whale-spotting and marine conservation, making Shetland a go-to destination for eco-tourists.
Through a series of inclusive and intergenerational community workshops and performances, Leviathan traces this transition to today’s eco tourism by sharing the stories and songs of the women and the men that have shaped Shetland’s whaling tales.
Performances and Community Workshops
In October 2022, Leviathan toured five community venues in Shetland, gathering and sharing local stories, and creatively interrogating the tales and songs that have shaped Shetland’s whaling heritage. In addition to evening performances, the events in Bigton, North Roe and Mid Yell featured community workshops consisting of story and music making, and during which folk are invited to share local stories of whaling heritage. Dementia friendly performances were held at Scalloway Public Hall and Hoswick Visitor Centre.
All events were open to participants of all abilities and ages, and were held as part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2022, supporting Scotland's Year of Stories 2022.
Percussionist Renzo Spiteri is an internationally respected creative musician with a performance career spanning more than 30 years. He specialises in cross-artistic and cross-cultural collaborations. He has performed in major international festivals and venues, leading his own projects and collaborations and using the universal language of music to bring people from diverse cultural and artistic backgrounds together.
Jan Bee Brown is a collaborative artist, storyteller and shanty-woman. Jan specialises in creating bespoke, inclusive performances through stories and song that respond to a sense of place, reflecting the landscape and the community in which the stories are shared. Recently Jan produced ‘Waves, Wirds & Wirset’ for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival - Go Local strand at Hoswick Visitor Centre with James Sinclair and Barry Nisbet.