A Christmas Masquerade


Castle Howard 2019


The Brief

We were in Venice on a family holiday when Charlotte Lloyd-Webber rung. Could we create a troupe of Commedia dell Arte players to enhance visitor experience at the Venetian masked ball Christmas opening of Castle Howard this Winter – it seemed serendipitous.


What We Did

In order to bring the troupe to life, we drew on Rebecca’s background as an actor-musician in the West End – bringing in Tim Sutton as composer, who she had worked with on As You Like It at the Wyndhams with Sienna Miller, Helen McCrory and Dominic West. We also brought in good friend and mask specialist, Audrie Woodhouse as theatrical advisor to ensure our diverse performers had the same grounding in good mask technique before rehearsal. We then devised a series of stand-alone play-based interactions from characters Pulcinella, Arlecchino, Pierrot and Colombina as well as a series of musical performances of well-known Christmas carols re-imagined for a Klezmer ensemble including live trombone, oboe, melodica and percussion. In addition we created a series of lazzi or vignettes to be performed at the late night Christmas openings in the catering area for a dinner audience.


The Result

We successfully animated the house opening on 25 selected nights over the 2019 Christmas season – drawing crowds, surprising audiences and enhancing the Venice Masquerade theme for Charlotte Lloyd-Webber design with live music, fun and engagement.



Christmas Masquerade by Rusticus

“It was amazing!”

Audience member

Want this for your event?


If you would like us to deliver this sort of performance at your venue, get in touch.


01377 241498