Strange Tales

A co-production between Grid Iron and The Traverse Theatre.

In partnership with the Confucius Insititute for Scotland.  Part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Chinese Classics Translation Project, funded by Arts Council England.  Development process supported by Puppet Animation Scotland’s Creative Fund.

30th November to 21st December 2019
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Adapted from Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling by Pauline Lockhart with Ben Harrison.  Performed on stage in Traverse 1.

Strange Tales
Written by Pauline Lockhart with Ben Harrison

When wind and snow fill the sky and the fire has grown cold, relight the coals, warm the wine and turn up the wick of the lamp.  we enter these tales in the shadows of the night, but hopefully emerge into daylight.


Written in China centuries ago, Pu Songling’s Strange Tales are now adapted for the stage by the acclaimed immersive theatre company Grid Iron in co-production with the Traverse Theatre.
Filled with intrigue, mysticism, magic, sensuality, and a dash of terror, Strange Tales will draw you into a world full of mischievous fox spirits, yearning ghosts and enchanted swords where anything and everything is possible.

But be warned – unless you come to these tales with an open mind and brave heart, you may never be able to escape them…

This thrilling immersive production uses puppetry, movement and cutting edge digital technology to thrust you right into the pages of the tales themselves. Adapted by Pauline Lockhart and Ben Harrison from a selection of Pu Songling’s original tales, Strange Tales will wrap itself around you and make you shiver in delight and fright on Edinburgh’s dark winter nights.


30th Nov – 21st Dec 2019
Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, Edinburgh

There were Captioned and Audio Described performances of Strange Tales.

Production Photography by Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

What The Press Said:

Cast & Creative Team:



Luna Dai
Pauline Lockhart
Robin Khor Yong Kuan


Pauline Lockhart          Writer & Director
Ben Harrison                 Director & Writer
Ewan Macdonald          Translations
Judith Doherty               Producer
Deborah Crewe              Finance & Development Manager
Yuyu Wang                     Assistant Director
Karen Tennent               Set & Costume Designer
Susanna Murphy &       Bright Side Studios
Cristina Spiteri               Video Design
Ruth Chan                       Composer
James Johnson               Lighting Designer
Fergus Dunnet                Live Effects Designer
Richard Bell                     Sound Designer
Philip Ho                          Fight Advisor
Gemma Smith                 Company Stage Manager
Lauren Desjardins          Deputy Stage Manager
Bekah Astles                     Assistant Stage Manager
Sophie Ferguson              Costume Supervisor
Trish Kenny                      Costume Assistant
Will Moore &                    Video Programmers
Charlie Willis Osbourne
JB Scenery                        Set Build
Charlotte Powell              Cloot & Stori, Scenic Art

Joy Jin                               Creative Community Advisor
Zhuoer Lin                        Creative Community Advisor/Calligraphy
Emillie Chen                     Publicity Image
Graham Pearson              Publicity Image Photography
Production shots              Tommy Ga-Ken Wan
Emma Quinn                     Programme Design
Sui He & Lingwei Wu      Programme & Pubicity Translation
Alison Pendlowski            Captioning
Jo Barrow                           Audio Description

Jen Aust                              Stage Management
Rachel Pryde                      Technical


Sabino Acosta                                    Senior Chef
Laura Antone                                     Development Assistant
Dave Bailey                                         Lighting & Sound Technician
Fiona Campbell                                 Audience Experience Manager
Linda Crooks                                      Executive Producer & CEO
Megan Davies-Varnier                    Deputy Box Office Manager
Joe Davis                                             Lighting & Sound Technician
Anna Docherty                                  Press & Media Officer
David Drummond                             General Manager
Danielle Fentiman                            Producer
Jenny Gilvear                                     Programme & Office Administrator
Ellen Gledhill                                      Development Manager
Debbie Hannan                                 Artistic Director
Mollie Hodkinson                             Administration Apprentice
Cecil Lane                                            Ticketing & Costumer Service Officer
Kath Lowe                                           Front of House Manager
Tanya Macdonald                             Ticketing & Costumer Service Officer
Kevin McCallum                                Head of Production
Ruth McEwan                                    Senior Producer
Lauren McLay                                    Marketing & Media Assistant
Suzanne Murray                               Bar Café Manager
Victoria Murray                                 Head of Brand & Audience
Gareth Nicholls                                 Artistic Director
Alice Pelan                                          Finance & Administration Assistant
Julie Pigott                                          Head of Finance & Operations
Pauleen Rafferty                               Payroll & HR Manager
Sunniva Ramsay                               Creative Producer
Anna Richardson                              Ticketing & Customer Service Officer
Renny Robertson                             Chief Electrician
Lesley Anne Rose                             Creative Development Director
Jonathan Rowett                              Bar Café Senior Supervisor
Gary Staerck                                       Head of Stage
Kyriakos Vogiatzis                            Marketing & Campaigns Officer
Eleanor White                                   Literary Assistant

Associate Artists Emma Callander, Rob Drummond, Gary McNair, Morna Pearson, Tim Price, Stef Smith


Supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Strange Tales is brought to you in partnership with the Confucius Institute for Scotland.
Part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Chinese Translations Project, funded by Arts Council of England.
Development process supported by Puppet Animation Scotland