After a traditional homage to the big man of Scottish literature? Looking for a twist on your standard Burns Night? Read on for our round up of Burns-related events near you
Edinburgh gets its bard celebrations off to an impressive (and prompt) start with Burnsfest at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in association with Scotland’s Winter Festivals (17–28 Jan, times vary). From a ceilidh in the café to performances of the poet’s songs and work inspired by him, a puppetry workshop about the life of ‘Rabbie as a Laddie’ and several interactive storytelling workshops, this should be educational family fun.
Regular storytelling group, Guid Crack Club will have a special Burns-themed evening with Kati Waitzmann, storytelling fellow with Glasgow Museums, shedding light on the Ayrshire poet (27 Jan, 7.30pm), while the Scottish National Portrait Gallery will be hosting an Alternative Burns Night (26 Jan, 6pm), taking this traditional work into the multi-media age. Edinburgh’s Botanics will host their interpretation of a Burns Supper, a month long exhibition focussing on the fruit and veg mentioned in Burns’ work (5–31 Jan, 10am), whilst A Stand-up Burns Supper featuring Viv Gee, Billy Kirkwood and Vladimir McTavish will take place at the Voodoo Rooms (27 Jan, 7.30pm).
Dumfries will host two days of theatre, music, art, film and comedy in the shape of the Big Burns Supper, including appearances from Eddi Reader and Frisky and Mannish (various venues, 27 & 28 Jan, visit bigburnssupper.com for more details).
In Glasgow, you can take advantage of the Mitchell Library’s ever-growing Robert Burns Collection, featuring over 5000 items relating to the writer (year round, times vary). ENABLE Scotland use the occasion to drum up support and raise some money at their Burns Night Firewalk (Alea Casino, 25 Jan, 6pm). Get yourself a sponsor and take advantage of the training provided on the night to avoid a different kind of burn(s).
The Oran Mor will also host A Dinner, A Drama and a Dram (25 Jan, 7pm) – a chance to eat a three-course meal while enjoying Burns’ ‘The Jolly Beggars’, as performed by hip local choir, The Sirens of Titan. There will also be an alternative Burns night elsewhere in the building as part of Celtic Connections (25 Jan, 7.30pm) with live music from Babelfish, to complete their Burns double header.
Queers & Queens: The Quintessential Story – an evening of stories, songs and poetry to queer the narrative. Where are our LGBT+ kin in folklore. They surely existed, but are seldom heard of in stories. With storyteller Lauren Bianchi.
Enjoy your traditional Burns Supper with storytellers David Campbell and Ruth Kirkpatrick. The evening also features clarsach player Katie Harrigan and Donald Smith’s wonderful rendition of Tam O’Shanter.
Celebrate Burns night in style with a very Scottish and very funny line-up. There's Vladimir McTavish blending cordial with caustic, Billy Kirkwood and his infectious high-energy, Viv Gee's masterful comedic poetry, and also Jamie Dalgleish and Eleanor Morton.
A Burns night with a difference hosted by Babelfish featuring fiddler Adam Sutherland, pianist Andy Thorburn, accordionist John Somerville, drummer Iain Copeland and rapper/poet Jock Urquhart for new renditions of Burns material. Part of Celtic Connections.
If the thought of watching a man delivering a monologue to offal doesn't exactly raise your flag, take in an alternative Burns Night, featuring new perspectives on Burns' life from David Purdie, secretary of the Burns Club and former MD, and Ian Campbell, professor of Eng Lit at the University of Edinburgh; Bani…