Just up the hill from the festival site is a house called Low Ludderburn. Arthur Ransome lived here together with his wife Evgenia Shelepina, once Trotsky’s secretary.

Now, just down the hill from that house, Arthur Ransome’s great-nephew, renowned storyteller Hugh Lupton, will tell an extraordinary story…

In 1914 Arthur Ransome (who later became famous for his ‘Swallows & Amazons’ books) travelled to Russia to collect folk-tales. He got swept up in the events of the Russian revolution, became the only British journalist trusted by the Bolsheviks, played chess with Lenin and fell in love with Trotsky’s secretary. 

In this programme Hugh tells one of the folktales he collected… and also tells the story of Ransome’s epic escape from Russia in 1917… always with a pebble in his pocket from Peel Island on Lake Coniston as a talisman to bring him safely home.

2 hours with interval. For adults 14+

Hugh Lupton’s interest in traditional music, street theatre, poetry, and myth resulted in him becoming a professional storyteller in 1981. His many collaborations have included work with Chris Wood, Sam Sweeney, Ben Haggarty, Sally Pomme Clayton, Rick Wilson, Nick Hennessey & Daniel Morden.

He tells stories from many cultures, but his particular passion is for the hidden layers of the British landscape and the stories and ballads that give voice to them. His published work includes two novels, many collections of folk-tales & most recently a collection of stories and essays ‘The Dreaming of Place’.