It’s not every day that we get the chance to see an amazing theatrical show that ‘blows us away. Even more unusual is if that show is on our doorstep and there is no need to travel into the big city to be wowed. So, we already know that the stunning Warwick Castle is only a stone’s throw away from Royal Leamington Spa, but are we aware of what is happening this summer?
After a couple of years of public health precautions meaning so much of what we loved was cancelled or restricted, it is refreshing to know that some fantastic events are coming up close to home.
The big news at Warwick Castle is that the Dragon Slayer Spectacular will be back later in the summer. We first reported about this show back in 2018, and, if past performances are anything to go by, it does not disappoint. It was sold out for the performances in 2019. Unfortunately, the castle could not stage the show in 2020 and 2021, and this year’s version promises to be even more epic.
The event organisers say it will be even bigger and better than before. Dragon Slayer comes from the tradition of a ‘Son et Lumiere’ show. This is a French practice that sees special lighting effects projected onto the walls of buildings of historical interest. Images get projected onto the walls of French Chateaus and monuments with a recorded or live narration to tell the story of the building’s history. There are currently around 50 locations in France which have regular ‘sound and light’ shows.
Dragon Slayer is much more than sounds and lights, though. It is a full theatrical performance with projections onto the castle walls, and it finishes with a pyrotechnic extravaganza to take your breath away. This is a show that won’t be forgotten for a long time.
The performance tells the tale of local legend Guy of Warwick. This man of myth is said to have battled giants and all sorts of stupendous creatures to prove his valour and win the hand of Princess Felice. Like King Arthur, the stories of Guy of Warwick are a rich tapestry of history and legend. A humble cupbearer, he falls in love with the daughter of Earl of Warwick but is too lowly born to win her hand.
He then embarks on a series of heroic tasks to prove himself worthy of the high-born princess. First, he rids the county of a monstrous beast known as the Dun Cow and takes on a giant boar that has been terrorising the local people. Finally, he leaves for Europe to prove himself as a knight in battle and while he is there finds himself face to face with the dragon he has to slay.
Slaying a dragon is a popular pastime for a legendary character, and he follows in the footsteps of Jason, Perseus, Heracles and, of course, St George. Dragons are mythological creatures who continue to spark the imagination. Genesis Gaming recently created a video slot game called Dragon Slayer, and many slot sites feature dragon-themed games, including titles like Dragon’s Fire and Legend of the Ice Dragon.
In the performance at Warwick Castle, the audience will be treated to an unforgettable experience. The promoters say that the spectators will feel the heat surging from the castle walls. There will be a sensational light show and a finale which will include breath-taking fireworks.
All of the stories will be projected around the courtyard location, and this visual pageant will include a fifty-foot-high fire breathing dragon and the legendary Dun Cow. The audience will be surrounded by the show, seated in a purpose-built arena. Set in the courtyard of the castle, this promises to be a 360° immersive experience.
The shows are running on selected dates in August with ticket prices from £19 per person. There will be shows on the 12th and 13th of the month and then further performances between the 15th and 21st.