It's Pantomime Season at Chatsworth

Date: 9th November 2012

Oh No It Isn't, Oh Yes It Is!
It's Pantomime Season at Chatsworth
10 November to 23 December

Pantomime season is underway at Chatsworth, as classic fairytales such as Cinderella and Snow White are brought to life in enchanting Christmas displays, running from Sat 10 November to 23 December 2012.

The house has been transformed into a glittering celebration of pantomimes, bringing to life 13 Christmas favourites from Snow White, Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk to Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood.

The Chatsworth joiners have been working since July creating many of the fantastic installations such as the gingerbread house from Babes in the Wood, and Grandmother's cottage from Little Red Riding Hood.

The textiles team has been busy making more than 70 costumes for the displays and to transform the Guides into Widow Twanky, Captain Hook, the Fairy Godmother and the wicked witch amongst others. Children and adults can also enter into the magic with a whole variety of costumes to try on in the dressing up area, and a free children's trail is available at the house entrance with clues to help children spot all the different pantomimes on show.

School children from Pilsley, Curbar, Baslow, Heath and Grassmoor schools have created picture panels for the Snow White and Dick Whittington scenes and decorated parasols, fans and magic lamps for the Aladdin display.

Head housekeeper Christine Robinson said: "We've had so much fun putting our Christmas displays together this year. It's been a lot of hard work but we think the results are fantastic. We started work in February, and the installation began in earnest on Monday with 20 people working every day for five days, which involved hanging more than 20,000 baubles and 7,000 lights inside and 4,000 outside. "

There will be early opening hours every weekend in November and December, where the house opens at 10am. In addition the house and garden will open at 10.30am on the Thursdays and Fridays of the Christmas markets, which take place on 15-18 and 22-25 November.

No Christmas visit to Chatsworth is complete without a visit to the Farmyard where children can take part in the popular nativity plays starring the resident animals! Participation in the daytime nativities is on a first come basis and will run on selected dates from 1 to 23 December. Evening nativities will run 1, 8, 15 and 22 December at 6pm and require visitors to pre-book tickets which allow entrance to the farmyard from 4.30pm to give time for play before the nativity begins. The farmyard opens at the usual time of 10.30am.

Other festive events include floral demonstrations and workshops; wreath making; twilight evenings and gourmet evenings. All times and dates available on www.chatsworth.org

-ends-

Photos available upon request:
Cinderella and Prince Charming meet in the beautifully decorated Painted Hall. Cinderella, by day customer service assistant Rosie Hodkingson, is wearing a beautiful ballgown made by the inhouse Textile team, which has also created more than 70 other costumes for the pantomime displays and dressing up area. Trainee supervisor Lewis Leybourne makes a dashing Prince Charming, dressed in authentic 18th century footman livery from the Chatsworth archive.

Notes to editors:
The Chatsworth House Trust is an independent charity (no 511149) set up by the 11th Duke of Devonshire in 1981, to ensure the long-term survival of Chatsworth for the benefit of the public.  All admission and event income from visitors, together with a percentage of income from shops and restaurants, goes directly to this Trust, and can only be spent on the upkeep and improvement of the house, collections, garden, farmyard and park.

Chatsworth won Gold in the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2011 'Large Visitor Attraction' category organised by Visit England, the national tourism body. Chatsworth underwent a rigorous independent assessment before being chosen by a board of tourism industry experts including previous Small Visitor Attraction winner Victoria Emmanuel of the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and experienced travel journalists Alison Rice and Sally Shalam.

Chatsworth is a member of the Treasure Houses of England, 10 of the most magnificent palaces, stately homes and castles in England. www.treasurehouses.co.uk

Chatsworth is only 16 miles from the MI, 10 miles from Chesterfield, and 8 miles north of Matlock, in the heart of Derbyshire's Peak District National Park and is well served by transport links throughout the UK.

For further information or images please contact:
Liz Bee or Steve Houghton
Redbrick Communications
0115 910 1500
lizb@redbrickcommunications.com
steveh@redbrickcommunications.com