Leviathan poster


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

Leviathan is touring to five community venues in Shetland, gathering and sharing local stories, and creatively interrogating the tales and songs that have shaped Shetland’s whaling heritage.

The community workshops in Bigton, North Roe and Mid Yell are standalone events consisting of story and music making, enabling folk to gather, share and reinterpret local stories. Places in the workshops are limited and are open to participants of all abilities and ages. 

Join us for some soup and a roll after the workshop!

Event List

Friday 14th October | Scalloway Public Hall

Dementia Friendly Performance: 19:00 - 20:00

Saturday 15th October | Bigton Community Hall

Workshop: 17:00 - 18:00

Performance: 19:00 - 20:00

Saturday 22nd October | North Roe & Lochend Hall

Workshop: 17:00 - 18:00

Performance: 19:00 - 20:00

Thursday 27th October | Hoswick Visitor Centre

Dementia Friendly Performance: 14:00 - 15:00

Saturday 29th October | Mid Yell Public Hall

Workshop: 17:00 - 18:00

Performance: 19:00 - 20:00

​All events are free as part of this year's Scottish International Storytelling Festival, supporting Scotland's Year of Stories 2022, but booking is recommended.

Please RSVP through the event link/s below.




Community Workshops

  • Leviathan in Bigton | Community Workshop
    Sat, 15 Oct
    Bigton Community Hall
    15 Oct, 17:00 – 18:00
    Bigton Community Hall, Bigton, Shetland ZE2 9JF, UK
  • Leviathan in North Roe | Community Workshop
    Sat, 22 Oct
    North Roe and Lochend Hall
    22 Oct, 17:00 – 18:00
    North Roe and Lochend Hall, Lochend, Shetland ZE2 9RZ, UK
  • Leviathan in Mid Yell | Community Workshop
    Sat, 29 Oct
    Mid Yell Public Hall
    29 Oct, 17:00 – 18:00
    Mid Yell Public Hall, Shetland ZE2 9BT, UK

The Artists

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.

SISF Logo Orange.png