Edinburgh Dungeon unveils gristly Mary Queen of Scots experience

Mary Queen of Scots Edinburgh Dungeon
Mary Queen of Scots Edinburgh Dungeon

Until 31 March, visitors to the Edinburgh Dungeons, part of the Merlin Entertainments Group, can experience a brand new show dedicated to the doomed Scottish monarch Mary Queen of Scots.

The award-winning underground attraction employs a troupe of around 40 professional actors. Now, all 15 of the Dungeon’s female actors will take it in turn to play the lead in Mary Queen of Scots: The Cursed Crown.

Four tours per hour will take place at the city centre attraction, meaning Mary’s tale will be told no less than 32 times each day. With a ‘scary score’ rating of five skulls, the show is not for the faint-hearted.

Mary was imprisoned for 19 years before being executed for treason in 1587. As cinema-goers flocked to a new film based on her life, this new Dungeon show allows fans to get up close with Mary’s story.

Set in Loch Leven Castle, one of the many places Mary was imprisoned, visitors can discover how she was used as a pawn at the mercy of Machiavellian plots hatched by her closest aides, including third husband Lord Bothwell who is said to have conspired in the brutal slaying of Mary’s second husband, Lord Darnley.

The Cursed Crown ends with Mary being beheaded after colluding in an assassination attempt on her cousin, Queen Elizabeth – visitors to the Dungeon are sure to encounter her restless ghost.

The Cursed Crown forms part of the Dungeon’s 70-minute tour, featuring 11 live shows. The hair-raising performances bring to life a host of characters including notorious Galloway-based cannibal Sawney Bean, Edinburgh’s most prolific witch Agnes Finnie, and the Auld Reekie serial killers Burke and Hare.

Lyndsay Hebert, Performance Manager at The Edinburgh Dungeon explained, “Mary Queen of Scots: The Cursed Crown is the result of three months of historical research, costume and set design and scripting. As with every show at The Dungeon, we like to look in depth at a chapter of Scottish history and have put our own angle on it. We are excited to bring her story to life in our unique, scary and fun Dungeon way.”

Stuart Jarmon, The Edinburgh Dungeon’s General Manager said, “More than 400 years after Mary’s death, she remains a fascinating figure. Here at the dungeon we specialise in creating strongly researched, novel, scary, fun and engaging historical experiences with amazing actors, scenes, and even smells. We wanted to tell Mary’s story afresh in our Dungeon-like way, capturing the imagination of young and old alike.”