Skelf Island Launch !


Castle Howard 2019


The Brief

We were contacted in early 2019 about an exciting new development at Castle Howard. We knew the grounds, having performed our Rusticus Adventures there in the Summers of 2016 and 2017. This was something a little different – the estate had created a brand new play area next to the Great Lake with a strong play concept – other-worldly creatures called the Skelves. Would we like to help bring the Skelves to life?


What We Did

We consulted the Skelf Council – a group of young people who the estate had engaged with the development of Skelf Island – and with them, carried out a creative workshop using music and the hand drawn Skelf designs to start creating ideas for characters. We commissioned costumes and developed two of the Skelves – Rowan and Oaken – ready for launch in 2019.


The Result

Rowan and Oaken were present at the launch of Skelf Island in July 2019 and maintained a presence over the opening weekend, helping audiences to discover the new attraction, playing with families, and elevating the space from one of physical play to one of the imagination. The Skelves narrative has gone on to become a staple of the family offer at Castle Howard with new events featuring the Skelves, being programmed several times a year.

Skelves Launch by Rusticus

“Thanks for all of your input and hard work to get us to this point, yesterday went very well and was a great opportunity to engage with local and regional stakeholders”

Abbi, Castle Howard

Want this for your event?


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


01377 241498