The Sign of the Strawberry is a promenade play which takes the audience on a unique journey through Strawberry Hill’s immaculately restored rooms.
According to the website the play is ” a parody of all things Gothic, the play has been written specifically for Strawberry Hill and features Horace Walpole in a leading role. His dialogue is based upon letters written by Walpole to his many life-long correspondents.. The play culminates in a Ghosts’ Ball in the magnificent Gallery of Strawberry Hill. The Ball features original music by Nick Pratelli and choreography by Ijy de Luca, assistant choreographer on Strictly Come Dancing.
About Strawberry Hill:
The youngest son of Robert Walpole, England’s first Prime Minster, Horace Walpole (1717-1797) was a politician, man of letters, art historian, author, publisher and collector. His only novel, The Castle of Otranto (1764), began the Gothic literary tradition which inspired such works as Frankenstein, Dracula and Jane Austen’s parody Northanger Abbey. Following his purchase in 1749 of Chopp’d Straw Hall, a cottage on the banks of the Thames in fashionable Twickenham, Walpole set about transforming it into a “little Gothic castle” with turrets, battlements and towers. Thus transformed, Strawberry Hill inspired a new fashion for the Gothic in architecture, and became a tourist attraction in Walpole’s lifetime. In recent years, the house was rescued from dereliction by The Strawberry Hill Trust, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Following an £8.9m restoration project, it opened to the public in 2010..