Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival in the Spiegeltent Announced • Cardiff Castle (2023)

22 July 2022


  • Shows include Nutcracker, Santa’s Wish and Castellana
  • 25 November 2022 – 8 January 2023
  • Early bird tickets on sale now!

The Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival is a spectacular new entertainment attraction being staged inside a beautiful Spiegeltent in the grounds of Cardiff Castle.

Produced by Cardiff-based live events company Live Under the Stars and Jamboree Entertainment, Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival presents three incredible shows offering something for everyone. The shows include Rubicon Dance Company’s Nutcracker – the Christmas ballet with a Welsh twist; Santa’s Wish – a brand new magical musical adventure for the whole family; and Castellana – a jaw-dropping blend of world class cabaret, circus, burlesque, and comedy.

The shows will be performed in the ornate and intimate 570-seat Fortuna Spiegeltent within the historical grounds of Cardiff Castle and promises to transport audiences to a nostalgic and magical world.

The Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival is a wonderful addition to Cardiff’s existing Christmas programme, which includes Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland, Christmas at Bute Park and Cardiff’s Christmas Market. It is created and produced by Richard Perry and John Manders, joint directors of Live under The Stars, whose most recent credits include the recent Cardiff Castle Jubilee Celebration Concert, and the Live Under the Stars Concert series.

Richard Perry said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing this magical entertainment experience to enhance the already fantastic Christmas provision in our capital city and we can’t wait to welcome audiences to the Castle this festive season. We’re proud to be showcasing local, national, and international talent and celebrating this wonderful time of the year in the heart of the city with locally inspired storylines, creative teams and performers”.

Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke-Davies, said: “The chance to experience a show under the roof of a magical Spiegeltent at the Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival will be a fantastic addition to the festive season. The award-winning Christmas at Bute Park light trail will also be back, as well as the ever-popular Winter Wonderland and the traditional Christmas Markets, ensuring that Christmas in Cardiff really will be the most wonderful time of the year.”

John Manders added: “We’ve brought together a fantastic team to present three amazing festive shows for the whole family to enjoy. We’re looking forward to these immersive performances and seeing how the shows fit into this unique venue. With premieres of a family musical, world class performers defying logic and an all-time Christmas classic ballet, we’re sure the event is going to be extremely popular. With an early bird booking window until the end of August the advice is to book early to ensure you don’t miss out!”


A European Spiegeltent (or magic mirrors) is the ultimate cabaret and music salon. It is a hand-hewn pavilion used as a travelling dance hall, Bohemian entertainment salon and wine tasting marquee since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They used to be the number one attraction at Belgian funfairs.

The tent is built from wood, cut mirrors, canvas, leaded glass, and detailed in velvet brocade. Each one is unique with its own name, personality, and style. Only a handful of these special and legendary tents remain in the world and The Fortuna, owned by Dutch company Van Rosmalen, is one of the most beautiful, playing host to some of the world’s greatest performers and musicians.


Rubicon Dance Company presents The Nutcracker

The Christmas Ballet with a Welsh Twist

Rubicon Dance Company presents its highly acclaimed full-length contemporary ballet of The Nutcracker – Wales’ first reimagining of its kind, featuring a rich cast of recognisably Welsh characters, including Uncle Idris, Bop Sheila & Bopa Linda and The Mari Lwyd!

The production also features the company’s signature showpiece Snowflakes as seen at Cardiff’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and featuring choreographer Jamiel Laurence’s unique take on dancing, tumbling, avalanching and flying snowballs. Audiences are invited along for a magical ride through the William’s Family Christmas. As we are taken into the dream world of our lead protagonist, Carys, her Uncle Idris will conjure up a battle, a snowstorm and his very own variety show, The Uncle Idris Show!

Opens 25 November 2022 for 5 performances only


The brand new, jaw-dropping spectacle of Castellana is a sensational blend of cabaret, burlesque and comedy with a hint of naughtiness with anthemic music and a storyline set in a magical mystical Welsh world filled with intrigue and suspense. World class performers will amaze, beguile, baffle and amuse as they deliver the ultimate Christmas Night Out in the intimate setting of the Fortuna Spiegeltent.

Prepare to be welcomed and delighted by the cheeky magicians, shapeshifters, high-flyers, fiery angels and dazzling demons of Castellana. As the magic and music intoxicates your senses, discover the stories and strange transformations of the people who came before you. Anything is possible for those who dare to leave their everyday lives behind and enter this timeless, risqué otherworld of miracles and wonder.

Castellana has its World Premiere on 1 December 2022 and runs until 8 January 2023. The show is suitable for those aged 16+

Santa’s Wish: A Magical New Musical

Snowflake the magical elf is in a really tricky spot. Santa’s sleigh has crashed and he is lost!

Will you be able to help find Santa?

Can Snowflake the Elf conjure up a plan to get Santa home in time and save Christmas?

Do the Magical Wish Jars hold the answer? Do you truly Believe?

This heart-warming family musical adventure, enriched with original songs, immersive storytelling and a sprinkling of circus magic is guaranteed to leave the whole family bursting with festive joy and happiness.

Santa’s Wish has its The World Premiere on 2 December, and the show will run for a strictly limited season until 24 December. The show is suitable for ages 3+


Tickets and information for Nutcracker, Castellana and Santa’s Wish is available via the Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival website at

Early bird tickets are available until the end of August and start at just £7 for children for Santas Wish, £23 for Castellana and £21 for Nutcracker. Booking Fees Apply.

Images and a trailer for Santas Wish can be downloaded here (add Google drive)

The venue is accessible for wheelchairs. Please message the team with any specific requirements.


Media Information

For further information, including press review tickets, please contact:

Elin Rees, / 07917 308329

Notes to Editors

Live Under the Stars is a Cardiff based events business specialising in presenting Live entertainment in unique and breath-taking settings.

They were the first company to present Live outdoor music in Cardiff follow the Covid lockdown and most recently produced the Queens Jubilee Concert at Cardiff Castle which was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Christmas 2022 sees them breaking new ground by producing shows for all the family in a magical Spiegeltent in Cardiff Castle.

Jamboree Entertainment is a York-based, family-owned company, with 30 years of experience in producing live entertainment and events worldwide.

Closer to home Jamboree Entertainment produces the award-winning Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland ice rink and funfair at York Designer Outlet; York Spring Fair & Food Festival and Yorktoberfest at York Racecourse; the Great Ryedale Maze at Sherburn; as well as the summer and winter Minster Village in the centre of York outside the Minster.

Recent concert productions include A Country Night in Nashville at the Royal Albert Hall, the Sounds in the Grounds series of concerts at stately homes, and a season of Abba Mania at the Shaftsbury Theatre in the West End.

This year Jamboree Entertainment is working with former York Theatre Royal artistic director Damian Cruden to create a brand-new cabaret show Castellana as part of Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival.


How would you describe Cardiff Castle? ›

Cardiff Castle is one of Wales' leading heritage attractions and a site of international significance. Located within beautiful parklands at the heart of the capital. At once a Roman fort, Norman stronghold and Victorian Gothic masterpiece, Cardiff Castle's walls and fairy-tale towers conceal 2,000 years of history.

How long is Santa's wish at Cardiff Castle? ›

Two years on and they have developed the idea into Santa's Wish, a family musical of around 80 minutes in length, which is playing for a whole month in the beautiful Spiegeltent venue at Cardiff Castle.

What happened at Cardiff Castle? ›

Cardiff Castle was repeatedly involved in the conflicts between the Anglo-Normans and the Welsh, being attacked several times in the 12th century, and stormed in 1404 during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr.

Who attacked Cardiff Castle? ›

The famous revolt led by Welsh hero, Owain Glyndŵr, broke out in 1400 and 4 years later his forces attacked Cardiff. Much of the town was burnt and extensive damaged caused to the Castle's main gate and the Black Tower.

What makes Cardiff special? ›

Cardiff is a city made famous through its production and exporting of coal. The revenue generated through the exportation of coal enabled the city to continue to grow and develop, and by the 20th century, it was the greatest exporter of coal in the world.

Why is it called Cardiff? ›

It's known in English as Cardiff, a name that derives from the medieval Welsh Caerdyf (which also gives us the modern Welsh Caerdydd). The first part of the name is the common Welsh noun caer, 'fort'. The second part is a form of the river name Taf (English Taff).

What is an interesting fact about Cardiff Castle? ›

In the late 1800s, Cardiff Castle was transformed by the 3rd Marquess of Bute and his architect, William Burges. Their combined vision, fueled by Bute's vast wealth, resulted in the collection of fantastically extravagant interiors enjoyed by visitors today.

Why did the Germans bomb Cardiff? ›

Cardiff Docks became a strategic bombing target for German Luftwaffe (the Nazi German air force) as it was one of the biggest coal ports in the world. Consequently, it and the surrounding area were heavily bombed.

What is the castle in Cardiff called? ›

Castell Coch, or the 'Red Castle', rises up from the ancient beech woods of Fforest Fawr like a vision from a fairy tale. Yet these great towers with their unmistakable conical roofs only hint at the splendour within. Given free rein by the third Marquess of Bute, architect William Burges didn't hold back.

When was the last person hung in Cardiff? ›

In September 1952 Mahmood Hussein Mattan became the last to be hanged at Cardiff Prison, but Mahmood had in fact been framed by the police and 45 years later his conviction was quashed. Mahmood had been a merchant seaman who had ended up settling in Cardiff and marrying a Welsh woman called Laura Williams.

How old is the Cardiff Castle? ›

The current building was built in the late 11th century, replacing the Roman fort. The castle was constructed by the Normans to support their expansion into Wales. The castle was commissioned either by William the Conqueror or by Robert Fitzhamon, and formed the heart of the mediaeval town of Cardiff.

Does the royal family own Cardiff Castle? ›

The Butes where the last family to own Cardiff Castle, in 1974, it was handed over to the city as a gift.

How Long Does Santa have to deliver all the presents? ›

But Santa is undaunted by the monumental task before him. With 500 million households to visit and 42 hours to do it in, that means Santa has a total of just 300 microseconds (0.0003 seconds) to accomplish everything he needs to accomplish per household.

How long is Santa's trip? ›

Depending on who you ask, Santa's journey starts and ends in Lapland, Finland or the North Pole. As he travels from east to west to race against the Sun, the man dressed in red has more than 31 hours to deliver all his gifts.

How long would it actually take Santa? ›

They assumed a travel time for Santa Claus of 12 hours, although taking into account time zones and presuming he travels from east to west, he would have an additional 24 hours to complete the task. Using these figures, Santa Claus would have to travel at a speed of 1.56 x 106 m/s. That's about 0.5% the speed of light.

What are people from Cardiff called? ›

Cardiff Caerdydd (Welsh)
• Urban479,000
• Metro1,097,000 (Cardiff-Newport)
• Cardiff Capital Region1,543,293 (est)
41 more rows

What was Cardiff called before? ›

The Roman fort established by the River Taff, which gave its name to the city—Caerdydd, earlier Caerdyf, from caer (fort) and Taf—was built over an extensive settlement that had been established by the Silures in the 50s AD.

What is the meaning of Cardiff in English? ›

Meaning of Cardiff in English

Cardiff. /ˈkɑː.dɪf/ us. /ˈkɑːr.dɪf/ a city in southern Wales that is the capital city of Wales, and is also a principal area (= an area with its own local government): Steve is from Cardiff, South Wales.

What language do Cardiff speak? ›

The Languages of Cardiff
English (including Welsh speakers)304,72991.7
32 more rows

What does Y mean in Welsh names? ›

Many place names consist of several words (e.g. Tanygrisiau, Glan-y-pwll) but the hyphen is not actually native to Welsh - it was introduced by the English in order to make pronunciation easier. feminine nouns mutate after 'y' (the).

What do Cardiff speak? ›

Cardiff is the capital of Wales, with Welsh and English as official languages.

How would you describe Cardiff Bay? ›

Cardiff Bay is the coastal corner of Wales' capital and only a short bus or train ride from the city centre; you can even walk between the two. Formerly a thriving tidal dockland, famous for exporting Welsh coal to the world, the area is now a vibrant waterfront surrounding the shore of a stunning freshwater lake.

What type of place is Cardiff? ›

Cardiff, Welsh Caerdydd, city and capital of Wales. Cardiff exists as both a city and a county within the Welsh unitary authority system of local government. It is located within the historic county of Glamorgan (Morgannwg) on the Bristol Channel at the mouth of the River Taff, about 150 miles (240 km) west of London.

What natural features does Cardiff have? ›

Here are some of our favourite nature spots and parks in Cardiff:
  • Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve. The 19-acre Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve is found on the northern shore, behind Techniquest and the River Taff. ...
  • Taff Trail. ...
  • Bute Park. ...
  • Cathays Park. ...
  • Heath Park. ...
  • Roath Park. ...
  • Victoria Park. ...
  • Grange Gardens.
Aug 18, 2020

Why do people go to Cardiff Castle? ›

A ticket to Cardiff Castle is a gateway to almost 2000 years of history, from Roman times right up to the second world war. Step inside and explore this fascinating site, including the mighty Norman Keep and lavish Victorian apartments.

What was Cardiff originally called? ›

The Roman fort established by the River Taff, which gave its name to the city—Caerdydd, earlier Caerdyf, from caer (fort) and Taf—was built over an extensive settlement that had been established by the Silures in the 50s AD.

Is Cardiff Bay salt water? ›

Cardiff Bay (Welsh: Bae Caerdydd; historically Tiger Bay; colloquially "The Bay") is an area and freshwater lake in Cardiff, Wales.

What are the 5 towns of Cardiff? ›

There used to be a question, apparently popular in the 1960s, that went like this: What are the five towns of Cardiff? The answer was: Grangetown, Butetown, Temperance Town, Newtown and Crockherbtown.

Which country does Cardiff belong to? ›

Satellite view is showing Cardiff, largest city, chief commercial center and the capital of Wales, one of the four constituent nations which form the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the south coast of Wales, where the River Taff meets the Cardiff Bay.

What attracts people to Cardiff? ›

Famous for its rugby and over 600 fairytale castles. It is also famous for its concerts and for its national parks. In the land of King Arthur, you will discover a whole host of myths and legends and many attractions. Still, you'll enjoy local crafts at Cardiff's Central Market.

Can you swim in Cardiff? ›

Cardiff is amazing for many things, and being situated right by the coast is certainly one of them. This makes it easy to enjoy a dip in the water on a hot day though! Being located close to many beautiful lakes and rivers, there are plenty of sources of water to choose from when it comes to Wild Swimming.

What animals live in Cardiff? ›

Cardiff's wildlife
  • Swifts.
  • Rare and champion trees.
  • Bats.
  • Otters.
  • Bluebells.
  • Peregrines.

Who is the owner of Cardiff Castle? ›


Following the death of the 4th Marquess of Bute, the family decided to give the Castle and much of its parkland to the city of Cardiff.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ouida Strosin DO

Last Updated: 12/31/2023

Views: 5975

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ouida Strosin DO

Birthday: 1995-04-27

Address: Suite 927 930 Kilback Radial, Candidaville, TN 87795

Phone: +8561498978366

Job: Legacy Manufacturing Specialist

Hobby: Singing, Mountain biking, Water sports, Water sports, Taxidermy, Polo, Pet

Introduction: My name is Ouida Strosin DO, I am a precious, combative, spotless, modern, spotless, beautiful, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.