Lauriston Castle launches events programme for May to November 2018

Over 85 events including atmospheric film screenings, ghost stories, murder mysteries, sketching workshops, lectures, picnics and theatre offer locals many opportunities to enjoy the Edwardian manor and gardens.

For more than 400 years, enchanting Lauriston Castle has overlooked the River Forth at Silverknowes, near Cramond. Set among 30 acres of woodland and beautiful gardens, the Castle is a special place to visit whether to explore the beautiful Edwardian interior, having a picnic or taking part in one of the many events, discussions or workshops programmed across the coming months.

A spring clean at Lauriston Castle

Enjoy a special evening screening of Merchant Ivory's elegant production The Remains of the Day on Sunday 17 June as part of the Atmosphere series of films at the Castle. Set against the backdrop of Lauriston Castle audiences are invited to dress up in 1930s or 1950s dress. In December audiences should dress ‘Victorian’ as the Atmosphere season returns with the acclaimed 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in Scrooge (19 December).

Bring a picnic, and the family, and enjoy a night of theatre: Shakespeare at the Castle: A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Saturday 14 July and Hamlet on Sunday 15 July. Five actors from The Three Inch Fools, with all manner of musical instruments, present inventive takes on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream - a magical comedy of enchanted woods and mischievous mayhem - including runaway lovers, beguiling potions and a rather unfortunate individual who gets turned into a donkey… and his infamous and iconic play, Hamlet.

The Castle’s costumed performances are popular. This year Spring sees the staff busy cleaning in Spick and Span! (8 April), drop into the lives of the people in the Castle after the death of Edward VII in Death of a King (20 May), Summer sees the household in a flurry preparing for A Marriage (24 June), Mr Barton’s Theatricals is a new short play about John Law, the economist, convicted murderer, escaped prisoner and rogue (23 September) and finally the staff join for the first Christmas since the end of the Great War in Celebrating the Peace, Christmas 1918 (2 Dec).

Saturday 28 July sees Lauriston Castle partner both the Edinburgh Horror Festival and the Edinburgh International Magic Festival in two unnerving events.

In the afternoon storyteller Alex Staniforth spins select MR James ghost stories in atmospheric rooms at the Castle in Edwardian Ghost Stories. In the evening there is a once in a lifetime chance to experience the reputedly haunted Lauriston Castle in a paranormal evening and Victorian Séance at the Castle after closing time. A lecture on the paranormal will be followed with a hands-on experience with the infamous Ouija board.

Family days out come in the form of the popular Easter celebrations with egg and spoon race and Easter treats, Eggstraordinary Easter at the Castle (1 April), whether young or old, beginner or experienced brush up your sketching skills at special workshops with the Edinburgh Sketcher (June and August), and explore untold mysteries in the Secret Room with the Edinburgh International Magic Festival where performance, magic and the Castle’s colourful history combine (May).

September sees WW1 re-enactments in the grounds and Castle with drills and bayonet fighting teaching the family about the life of Scottish soldiers and history in an interactive, fun way.

And as the nights lengthen in October and things get spooky, there’s plenty for children to try their hand at; Halloween Wand Making Workshop (18 Oct), the Halloween Magic School with the Magic Festival (20 Oct) and a fancy dress spooktacular with the Edinburgh Horror Festival (28 Oct).

Murder mysteries at the Castle are highly acclaimed, and this is a newly scripted play set against the highly atmospheric back-drop of Lauriston Castle. A Reunion with Death brings several people who have not seen each other for a long time together. Passions run high and culminate in a death in the latest in Edinburgh’s Living History’s popular annual murder mysteries. (9&10 Nov)

The partnership with the Edinburgh Horror Festival creates a chilly air at Lauriston Castle over the last weekend in October with Edinburgh Ghost Stories, a Twilight Séance, The Haunted Hunt and Out of Leftfield, a solo sketch-show with Lucifer’s home decoration tips. Lots of these sold out last year so book tickets early. (26 – 28 Oct).

Christmas at the Castle is a magical time and families can revisit Edwardian magic and tradition in a special morning on 9 December. Amazing sleight-of-hand, irresistible illusions and heart-warming comedy magic bring a sprinkle of actual magic on 22 December.

Series of workshops for adults and families draw on the seasons and the setting for their inspiration, and this year to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People the Castle is offering special sessions for those aged 13-18 in the school holidays who are aiming to apply for art college or are looking to advance their art skills covering expressive drawing, painting and sketching. (July)

This year’s lecture series kicks off in June and across 26 mornings explores an incredible range of subjects with experts in their field from Scottish Women's Hospitals in Serbia with Ailsa Clarke to The Life and Art of Charles H. Mackie with Pat Clark, Phoebe Anna Traquair with Dr Sally-Anne Huxtable to the history of the Scottish Jute industry with Sandra Thomson, and Sub-Roman Glasgow with Gordon Wyllie, Discovering Georgian Lauriston with Dr Anthony Lewis and HMS Unicorn, one of the oldest ships in the world still afloat and the oldest ship in Scotland, with Dr Billy Rough.

With over 85 events from May to December varying from workshops to murder mystery nights, Lauriston Castle has many reasons to return throughout the seasons.

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener, said: "As the days get longer and the Easter break looms, many families might be wondering how best to keep boredom at bay on a budget. Lauriston Castle, with 85 events, workshops, talks and tours, is a one-stop-shop for those looking for something new to do over the coming months. 

"Rediscover the Castle’s beautiful grounds during outdoor Easter activities and special cinema screenings. Introduce the family to Shakespeare with performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet, or delve into Lauriston’s dark side with murder mysteries, ghost stories and magic shows. Whatever your tastes, we hope this new programme encourages people to visit this incredible castle by the sea.”

Margaret Findlay, Learning and Programme Manager, Edinburgh’s Museums and Galleries said, “We are very proud of our diverse and highly acclaimed programmes at Lauriston Castle.  There is something for everyone to participate in and we are always exploring new and exciting events. The location is magical and we are very privileged to run events in such a special place.”

 

 

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