Scottish TV Interviews Mara Menzies

Toto Tales

More interviews!  This time on STV (Scottish Television)!


This time with STV’s beautiful Clare Carswell.

Watch here

And here’s what Clare wrote:

“Local story-teller, Mara Menzies is thriving at this year’s Fringe with sold out shows and four star reviews for ‘Under the Bao Bab Tree’ – a collaboration with a Singaporean theatre company.

Mara is a Leith based artist whose company, Toto Tales, has recently marked its fourth birthday and 2011 marks her third year performing at the Fringe.

She was born in Kenya and lived there until she moved to Scotland at the age of 13. As a child she did not have a television and would only be able to watch it at the local hotel once a week.

She said: “I spent a lot of time with my grandmother who would tell stories and it was very much part of the culture for local people to be telling stories in the evening once the working day is done.

“When I moved here it just went. I didn’t realise that part of my life had gone until I was much older, until I was expecting my first child.

“I wanted to tell my baby east African stories but I couldn’t find one so I thought. I’ll write one.”

Mara self-published the book and sold it to friends and family. In trying to find new audiences she started performing and established her business.

She performed at the Fringe in 2008 and 2009 and her show two years ago was spotted by the Singapore based children’s theatre company, iTheatre, as a result she was invited to collaborate and perform in Singapore before bringing the show to the Fringe.

Jonathan Lam, from iTheatre said: “I come from a background of puppetry, physical theatre, acting and dance we keep the fourth wall up when we perform but Mara is excellent at engaging with the children.”

Mara said: “To perform at the world’s largest arts festival is a fantastic opportunity. Artists come from all over the world and showcase all different art forms so I feel really privileged to be here and experience all these things.

“I suppose there is a bonus to being local because Edinburgh residents make up a large percentage of the total audiences and there are often children and others who have seen me throughout the year and want to see the Fringe show.”

You can read and see the interview here or go to


About TotoTales

Toto Tales brings African stories to life through the arts. We find and create incredible, inspiring, heart warming, tragic, humorous stories from across Africa, and share them with a variety of audiences across the world. We collaborate with various artists and strive to produce high quality works that while simple are far from being simplistic.
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