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18 October 2018

Shining the spotlight on Mary Queen of Scots

New after-dark event at Craigmillar Castle celebrates Mary Queen of Scots

Under a dramatic evening sky, an enormous blue and gold medieval-style pattern is projected onto an exterior wall of Craigmillar Castle

Experience Craigmillar Castle in a new light at our new after-dark event 'Spotlight on Mary' which runs from Thursday 1 – Sunday 4 November.

'Spotlight on Mary' illuminates the castle’s dark corners, where Mary Queen of Scots’ nobles plotted to get rid of her husband, Darnley – their infamous plan becoming known as 'the Craigmillar Bond'. Through intense light projections and vivid recreations, visitors will get a glimpse the lords' murderous schemes as they tour the castle and hear the dark plot unfold.

The tours start and end in Holyrood Park, with bus transfers to and from Craigmillar Castle included in the ticket price.

The silhouettes of two people watching a performance of Spotlight on Mary. The action is projected onto a castle wall. On the left hand side, a man with a sword sits at a table in front of a huge green tapestry featuring two gold unicorns. On the right, two men in 16th-century dress converse beneath a chandelier.

Craigmillar Castle, one of over 70 staffed Historic Scotland attractions managed by HES, was famously used by Mary Queen of Scots in 1566 as a safe haven.

Gillian Urquhart, Events Manager at HES, said: "Mary Queen of Scots is such a central figure in Scottish history. She lived in turbulent times, and we wanted to capture some of the atmosphere of conspiracy and tension which surrounded her. Craigmillar Castle was the setting for some of the most critical moments in her life, so we couldn’t think of a better place to hold this new, exciting event.

"This is the perfect opportunity for visitors to see the Castle transformed by light, and imagine how it looked when Mary stayed here."

This event, run in partnership with Double Take Projections, will whet the appetite for the new Mary Queen of Scots film, due to be released in 2019.

Steven McConnachie, Creative Director at Double Take Projections, said: "We’re using very high powered projectors, which will project backdrops and characters onto the castle, with live actors in front of them. We researched how the spaces might have looked in the past, and are using projection technology to bring the ruins back to life.

"We were lucky to have fantastic research and descriptions of parts of the Castle such as Darnley’s Room. This has enabled us to create projections that really showcase how the castle might have looked."

'Spotlight on Mary' takes place at Craigmillar Castle from Thursday 1 – Sunday 4 November, with buses departing from Holyrood Park at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. 10% discount is available for Historic Scotland members. Limited spaces are available so booking is essential.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
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Year of Young People 2018

The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally. Over 200 young people throughout Scotland will become #YOYP2018 Ambassadors, ensuring their communities know about local opportunities to celebrate young people.

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For further information, please contact:
Stacey Dent
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct line: 0131 668 8097
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