Seasonal Shows Revealed for Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival

The Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival will be 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”.

The shows for Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival will be performed in the ornate and intimate 570-seat Fortuna Spiegeltent

The Spiegeltent

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.

Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival Shows:

The Nutcracker is to come to Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival

Nutcracker 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
Castellana has anthemic music and a storyline set in a magical mystical Welsh world filled with intrigue and suspense

Cabaret, Burlesque & Comedy in Castellana

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+
A magical new musical, Santa’s Wish is to come to Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival

Santa’s Wish: A Magical New Musical

“On a cold winters night that crept into dawn, some fresh snow fell softly… a Snowflake was born…”

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

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 plus
A magical new musical, Santa’s Wish is to come to Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival

Tickets for Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival

  • Tickets and information for Nutcracker, Castellana and Santa’s Wish is available via the Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival website at
  • The venue is accessible for wheelchairs. Please message the team with any specific requirements.

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