In a major break from Medieval Times’ 34-year tradition of casting a king as the show’s lead role, the company will launch a new production at their Lyndhurst, New Jersey castle on January 11 which features a queen now in charge and sole ruler of the land. She is cast as a firm but kind ruler respected throughout the kingdom who inherited the throne at the passing of her father, the previous king.
The company’s leadership developed the idea to cast a matriarch, based in part on guest feedback that they would like to see women having more significant roles.
“Where previously our female characters played in more supportive roles, we are now showing a woman fully in charge, a woman whose authority is sometimes challenged, but she quickly rises to the occasion as a strong leader, squelching opposition,” says Ingrid Hunt, Medieval Times general manager.
Jousting, fighting, horsemanship, swordplay and a fresh, hot, four-course feast remain central elements of the dinner attraction. With the cast and script change come a series of other significant changes to the show:
- More than 700 new costumes for all nine castles’ performers including horses, all of which are custom-designed and hand-made at a dedicated costume shop near Dallas Design District.
- 200 new suits of armor, shields, and helmets, all of which are custom-designed and hand-made at a dedicated armory in Florida.
- More than 350 team members and 225 horses train and rehearse new lines and fight scenes for three months while still presenting the current show.
- It takes two months to teach a queen to ride an Andalusian stallion.
- New music was composed by Dr. Daniel May, composer and jazz pianist who scored “Everest” and other films and who worked with Sting, The Moody Blues and others. He directed and recorded Medieval Times’ new show composition in Kiev with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. He directed the choir in Ukraine with lyrics written by poet and choir member Solomia Gorokhivska, and a solo cellist and violin player from Pittsburgh, PA.
- The audience experiences a live action film score that is precisely synchronized with every element of the show, from lights to fights; jousts to jabs; the Queen’s entry to curtain closings; and more.
- The sound and light team spends 120 hours programming 300 new music cues and 500 new lighting cues. Several castles are installing and programming a new LED lighting system that offers 256 colors versus the old 14-color system. The system is powered by 10 miles of cable and an estimated million-dollar upgrade.
Tickets are available at www.MedievalTimes.com or by calling 1-888-935-6878. Medieval Times is located at 149 Polito Avenue in Lyndhurst, NJ.
Medieval Times owns and operates nine castles in the U.S. and Toronto, Canada. The new show initially opened in October 2017 in Dallas, TX where more than six million guests have been entertained in the castle’s 25 years.