Spotlight on Mary: Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh

‘Spotlight on Mary’ was a revolutionary projection mapping & light walk event undertaken with Historic Environment Scotland to engage with their members on an educational level and in a theatrical environment. The infamous Craigmillar Bond – brought to life through the integration of live actors interacting with projection mapping around the castle that regularly hosted Mary Queen of Scots. Craigmillar Castle was experienced in a new light as the public ‘witnessed’ the dark plot of 1566 and encountered key characters as they toured the castle and heard of the fate of Mary Queen of Scots’ husband, Lord Darnley.


Craigmillar Castle
Outdoor Museum

Client – Historic Environment Scotland
Location – Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh
Date – November 2018 & November 2019
Project Partners – HES, Living History Scotland
Projector Spec – 4 x PT-RZ21K Lumen Laser Projectors, 6 x PT-RZ970K 10,000 Lumen Laser Projectors

Fly on the Wall
Projection Mapping Event

Our task was to create a fully immersive experience to transport the audience back in time as if they were standing in Craigmillar Castle during the 16th Century. We took a ‘fly on the wall’ approach and decided to make the visitors co-conspirators in the plot to kill Lord Darnley – an event that actually took place at Craigmillar Castle.

To create this experience, we worked closely with the historic, interpretations and costume departments at Historic Environment Scotland to create a script and visual style true to the period. The team choreographed the script in a way that the live actors would be speaking to and interacting with filmed actors who were projected onto the grand walls of the castle. Crossing these mediums was a welcome challenge and a feature that made the event a quirky but informative spectacle leaving the audience spellbound.

High Powered, High Definition Projectors

Using archives and taking influence from the decorative environments of Stirling Castle – a place Mary spent a lot of time as a young girl – Craigmillar Castle’s walls and tapestries were recreated to depict the scenes from the plot accurately. We filmed and green-screened actors critical to the story and integrated them into our crafted scenes, ready to interact with the live actors on cue.

By using a large variety of high powered, high definition projectors to illuminate the facades of Craigmillar Castle, ‘Spotlight on Mary’ brought a new meaning to the phrase “if these walls could talk”. The onsite team used professional level PA and several sound desks to create a fully immersive experience.

‘If These Walls Could Talk’

‘Spotlight on Mary’ sold out in 2018, and we were delighted to be invited back the following year to rerun the light walk event. The event was runner up in the Association of Heritage Interpretation Awards 2019.

Facebook Comments:
“We had such a great time! From the location to the actors and the script, we were vastly entertained with the added bonus of learning more about the historical events concerning the Craigmillar Plot.”
Robyn Martin

“I saw this event twice now (last year and yesterday) and wanted to say that it was fantastic again. Actors are great!”
Bianca Kail


Create spectacular memories