Edinburgh Living History - recent work

Our pieces are designed to enhance museums, exhibitions and historic houses with entertainment that educates.
We can provide short character sketches and ensemble pieces, as well as full-fledged murder mysteries.

Lauriston Castle

William & Margaret Reid, the owners (c. 1910) of Lauriston Castle, together with Mrs Reid's flamboyant brother William, and their friend the songwriter Marguerite Marigold Monckton. Attending them are Mrs Mackay, the stern housekeeper, Mrs Reid's lady's maid Grace, and Harry the chauffeur. Below stairs are Tamar the kitchen maid, the irascible cook Mary, and her sparring partner the long-suffering gardener Alexander.

Members of ELH played the castle's occupants in 1910 to enhance the tours for the Lord Provost's Garden Party in 2013 and 2016.

For Halloween 2013, we portrayed Five Ghosts of Lauriston: the stories of occupants of the house from each century of its history.

Interesting Objects: There are many interesting stories behind the objects in the Reids' collection at Lauriston Castle. In April 2014, we presented a few of them, in the characters of the 1910 occupants and their visitors.

This Sporting Life: In this year of the Commonwealth Games, we took a look at sport and recreation circa 1910 - was it something to be enjoyed or avoided?

An Indian Summer: The occupants of Lauriston Castle enjoy the last of the idyllic summer of 1910 and Mr & Mrs Reid plan their next trip to Europe.

Christmas at Lauriston: We celebrate the festive season with Mr & Mrs Reid, their family, friends and staff.

A Midsummer Marriage: A promenade play, devised by the members of Edinburgh Living History, set in the enchanting gardens, with a summer picnic. Modern day. The Hamiltons have inherited the Laurels and have plans to renovate it. Before they can, there is to be a midsummer's wedding You are invited to attend the preparations. All the arrangements have been made and the future in-laws are on their way. What could possibly go wrong, and who is that mysterious man at the garden gate? A farcical comedy staged in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

18th-century Edinburgh (Museum of Edinburgh)

James Craig, designer of Edinburgh's New Town, talks about his past and his plans; a local harridan gossips about the tough conditions of her life in the Old Town; silversmith James Kerr enjoys the wealth and prominence he's gained; the Dowager Duchess of Gordon has come down in the world and describes the hardships of her life.

Women's Suffrage (The People's Story)

Two Edinburgh women of different backgrounds argue over what tactics are justifiable in the struggle for votes for women.

Edinburgh's WWI (Museum of Edinburgh)

The story of Edinburgh's people in World War I is brought to life by characters from our history. In conjunction with the museum's WWI exhibition Scars on the City.

Scottish Colourists exhibition (City Art Centre)

By a French market stall, a local woman talks about the lives of the women pictured; a Breton fisherman bemoans the hard times that have come upon him; Samuel Peploe outlines his education and artistic training, and his friendships with the other Colourists; New Town society ladies discuss the latest exhibitions and events; and the man who hangs the pictures has some surprising insights. Living History - Interpreting Paintings.

Picturing Conflict (City Art Centre)

A performance in connection with this exhibition of First World War paintings.

Robert Louis Stevenson (Writers' Museum)

An encounter between some of Stevenson's best-known characters.

Scotia's Darling Seat! (Writers' Museum)

A miscellany of prose, poems and songs about Edinburgh and its history.

A Mighty Bloodless Substitute (Writers' Museum)

A dramatised reading of two of Robert Louis Stevenson's short stories.

A Visit from Queen Victoria

An event at the Central Library, where children had an opportunity to draw Her Majesty.

Murder Mysteries

The Body in the Cellar

The Major's body has been found in the wine cellar impaled with an ugly knife. As the drama unfolds, it emerges that everyone had a motive to do away with him. You help the investigating detective to quiz the suspects and work out who the killer is.

Death Pays A Visit

The master of the house has died in his bed before the big announcement he planned to make the next day. The Inspector suspects foul play. There are motives galore among the house guests - financial, sexual, political. It's up to you to find the crucial clues.

Deep and Crisp and ... Dead!

Christmas at the Laurels – an idyllic setting in a crisp snowy landscape… until a body is discovered! Everyone is presumed guilty unless they prove otherwise. Can you unwrap the mystery? Can you work out whodunit and what their motives are?

A Wreath for the Laurels

A wreath has been delivered to the Laurels, but no-one is dead – yet! Can you unwrap the mystery?

A Subtle Kind of Murder

Family and friends have gathered at the Laurels for a birthday celebration; but as with many families there is an undercurrent of bad feeling. Who could foresee that it that would eventually lead to murder? Join Edinburgh Living History to try to find an Edwardian killer.