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Immersive children’s theatre to turn Charlton House & Gardens into Santa’s workshop this Christmas

7 November 2022
Press Release

New family mystery experience from Play Dead London will run alongside beloved festive events from Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust, including annual Christmas tree switch-on & market and by-donation holiday brass concert

CHARLTON, ROYAL GREENWICH – The excitement of the holiday spirit is starting to pick up at Charlton House & Gardens, with the announcement of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust’s Christmas programming.

A highlight is set to be a new show for children aged 7+ from Play Dead London, who have been delighting adult audiences at the House over the summer and Halloween seasons. Children will meet Old St Nick and his elves, and be invited to put on their most jingle-bell’d sleuthing hats to help him get to the bottom of a festive mystery. Along with a fun detective experience, kids and their families will have opportunities to take photos with Santa, and indulge in festive treats and afternoon teas from Frilly’s Tea Room.

What’s the story?

In the run-up to Christmas, Santa’s workshop is in chaos! There is so much to do, and to make things worse… SOMEONE has stolen Santa’s naughty and nice list! HE has enlisted the help of the best detectives in Charlton….you! Come and join us at the Old Library for a very festive mystery! Can you help Father Christmas solve the mystery and work out which elf it was? This family friendly mystery will be great fun and a way of our detectives young and old to test their interrogation skills. You will need to interview the elves, look over evidence and solve the case!

Says The Escape Roomer: “It gave me the festive cheer I didn’t realise I was missing!”

Families can book £15 tickets and festive add-ons now at greenwichheritage.org.

More Christmas events coming up at Charlton House & Gardens:

Christmas Switch-On & Market – Thursday 24th November: 3.30 – 6.30pm
Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with your Charlton and Blackheath neighbours as we dress up Charlton House’s Great Hall and light our outdoor Christmas tree. Drop in for seasonal treats and warm drinks, carols, an outdoor Christmas market, and a holiday craft for children (£2 per child, £4 per family up to 3 children).

Indoor Christmas Market by LK Fayres – Saturday 10th December: 10am – 4pm
“A fabulous Christmas shopping experience at Charlton House & Gardens where you can get into the Christmas spirit by listening to wonderful carol singers! There will be over 40 stalls inside showcasing their amazing craft and bespoke gifts including Christmas decorations and accessories, candles, jewellery, personalised goods, glassware, woodcarvings, cakes, and so much more.”

Christmas with the Royal Greenwich Brass Band – Friday 16th December: 1pm
The Royal Greenwich Brass Band present their annual concert of carols, Christmas music, and brass band classics. Featuring the magnificent voice of the West End’s James Lomas singing The Holy City and arias from Handel’s Messiah.

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is a registered charity, formed in 2014 to look after key structures, objects, and historic records within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Assets in the Trust’s care include Charlton House & Gardens, Charlton Assembly Rooms, Tudor Barn, and the Museum Collections & Archive of the Royal Greenwich, as well as memorials across the Borough. Its aim is to ensure the future of the Royal Greenwich’s rich heritage whilst bringing that heritage to life for everyone, through exhibitions, tours, walks and activities.

Charlton House is a Grade 1 listed Jacobean manor house situated in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London. Built between 1607 and 1612 for Sir Adam Newton, tutor to James I’s eldest son, Henry, Prince of Wales, the House has a rich and colourful history and is now in the proud care of the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust.

Play Dead London is an interactive theatrical extravaganza, where the audience play the detectives and solve the murder by digging for clues through watching the interactions between the characters and getting their hands dirty by interviewing the shady suspects themselves. Founder Emma Crocombe conceived the idea of the first murder mystery event as a fundraiser for an upcoming trip to Bangalore to work with Limited Resources Teacher Training. Over the next three months, little did she know that she would be creating an unforgettable murder mystery company with her talented friends! On Saturday 28th April 2018, Play Dead London was born with their first murder mystery ‘Murder at Big G’s Speakeasy’, Big G actually being the nickname for her dad!