Behind The Scenes of the Lost Carnival

Explore backstage life at the circus at Dunham Massey this summer

31 July – 30 August, 10.30am – 4.30pm, Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire


Families of the North. Your energy is needed to keep The Lost Carnival alive …

Dunham Massey is joining forces with award-winning producers Wild Rumpus (Just So Festival) and So It Is (Bury Met, Head For The Hills – Ramsbottom Festival) to present a family trail in the gardens this summer to mark the incredible story of Dunham’s Lost Years and the controversial Victorian marriage of George Harry, 7th Earl of Stamford & Warrington, to the daring equestrienne performer Catharine Cox.

The Lost Carnival is a theatrical experience focusing on the tale of two rival Victorian carnival families which appears in a different locality and guise each year. For 2017 families will get a glimpse into backstage life as performers from The Lost Carnival rehearse at Dunham Massey under the invitation of Catharine Cox.

Explore behind the scenes in the gardens at Dunham Massey throughout the summer and take part in a trail of beautiful installations filled with circus and theatrical challenges to help keep the Lost Carnival alive.  Meet performers and help them keep hula hoops twirling, prepare costumes and practice songs. Turn a  zoetrope (one of the earliest animation techniques through a revolving, slitted drum) to continue to ensure an acrobat comes to life. Write letters to the star-crossed lovers and heads of the rival carnivals Sergei Bird and Popou Ingenue to persuade them to meet at Dunham Massey and discover more about the history of the carnival in Popou’s enchanting caravan.

Explore the remarkable real-life story of Catharine Cox and George Harry inside the house, who were shunned by local Cheshire society for marrying between social classes.

Jessica Webb is Visitor Experience Manager at Dunham Massey: “We’re delighted to be working with Wild Rumpus in what promises to be an action packed summer of fantastic circus-themed activities. We’ll also be telling the story inside the House of the glamorous Catharine Cox, Countess of Stamford & Warrington, who was believed to be a circus equestrienne  before her marriage to the 7th Earl, and changed Dunham’s history forever”.

Rowan Hoban, Director, Wild Rumpus says “We are thrilled to be working with the National Trust on this special trail for family audiences at Dunham. We can’t wait to see all the rehearsing and creating in the beautiful gardens as together we help save The Lost Carnival this summer.”

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