This year’s Faclan: the Hebridean Book Festival is to include a brand new Fringe programme, supported by Outer Hebrides LEADER funding.

The first Faclan Fringe will consist of four events from 1-3 November, complementing the festival’s author events and film screenings, whose theme this year is ‘fear’:

  • Author Peter May will personally host a tour of locations from The Blackhouse, the first book in his internationally successful Lewis Trilogy. (The ticket link is here:
  • Composer Jessica Danz will perform Under the World, an evening of original music and song at St Peter’s Church in Stornoway, inspired by the archetypal story of the descent into the Underworld
  • Maricruz Vasquez will create a Day of the Dead Mexican lunch in An Lanntair’s café bar on Friday 2 November.
  • The festival’s closing party at An Lanntair, Monster’s Ball, which will feature live music by Hebridean band the Howling Lords.

The Faclan Fringe is part of a brand new programme of winter festivals, part-financed by Outer Hebrides LEADER funding, that will continue at An Lanntair until July 2020.

LEADER is also supporting An Lanntair’s current Iolaire centenary programme, the recently announced Hebridean Dark Skies Festival, which will take place in February 2019, and an annual food festival.

Faclan 2018’s line-up of authors – many of them reflecting on this year’s festival theme of Fear – includes Peter May and Malcolm Mackay, both discussing Hebridean Noir; Sir Christopher Frayling on the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (following a screening of the classic 1931 film); Finlay Macleod on the true history of a semi-mythical 19th century bogeyman who stalked the moors of Lewis and Harris; and Louise Welsh, who will reflect on the role of fear in her work.

In a very different approach to fear, Kathryn Mannix will explore the various taboos around death. Other highlights include a Saturday night appearance by leading spoken word performer Hollie McNish, a screening of vampire classic Nosferatu with a live piano score by Peter Urpeth, and a tribute to the late Gaelic writer, playwright and storyteller Chrisella Ross.

In addition to the packed programme of author and musical events, there will be daytime film screenings throughout the festival, also focusing on the theme of FearPsycho, Village of the Damned, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Rosemary’s Baby, Schalcken the Painter, The Babadook, and classic ghost story Whistle and I’ll Come to You, which this year marks its 50th anniversary.

Andrew Eaton-Lewis, events & marketing co-ordinator for An Lanntair, said: “An Lanntair’s new programme of winter festivals is creating all kinds of exciting new events which we hope will encourage more people to visit the Isle of Lewis outside of the summer months. The Faclan Fringe is an important part of this programme; while Faclan already draws visitors and guests from across the UK, these new events provide an extra incentive to make the journey, while enhancing the experience for a local audience too.”

Roddy Murray, An Lanntair’s Head of Visual Arts and Literature, said: “Faclan each year is not so much programmed as orchestrated. The intention is to juxtapose, cluster and sequence speakers and events to create an experience that exceeds its component parts. It is no accident that writers like Philip Hoare have called it ‘extraordinary’ and ‘a gift’.”

Faclan will run from Wednesday 31 October to Saturday 3 November and is supported by Creative Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, LEADER and Natural Retreats. For full programme details, and to book tickets, visit Tickets can also be booked via the An Lanntair box office on 01851 708480