THE York Dungeon is putting a killer queen, a forgotten character from Yorkshire's history, in the spotlight.

Cartimandua was the Queen of the Brigantia, the Celtic kingdom that would later become Yorkshire. Rather than fight against the Roman invaders, like the well-known warrior queen Boudica did, she sided with the enemy and made sure to hand any traitors over to them.

“Cartimandua is a larger-than-life character from Yorkshire’s history,” says performance supervisor Richard Barker. "Not only did she side with Rome, but when her fellow Celts came to her for sanctuary, she would simply hand them over to the Romans instead and would be rewarded handsomely for it too."

The new show built around Cartimandua seeks to blend humour with frights in the York Dungeon tradition, bringing together new special effects, characters and gags for audiences to enjoy as they learn of a "killer queen", so named because she ruthlessly sent so many people to their deaths.

"There are some absolutely hilarious new surprises and loads of audience participation," says Richard. "Make sure you look as innocent as possible, as one traitor from the group will be found and punished."

Cartimandua is the first of the York Dungeon’s Yorkshire Rogues & Legends shows, a new series for 2018 that explores characters from the county’s history who may have slipped out of the limelight. The hope is that these shows will shed new light on under-appreciated characters from Yorkshire's past that have as much significance as their more famous counterparts.

"Cartimandua was a clever and strong leader who used her cunning to outsmart and destroy her enemies," says Richard. "Hopefully this new show will give people a glimpse at history they never knew existed in Yorkshire and the powerful woman that led the way."

The next in line in the Yorkshire Rogues & Legends series will feature Knaresborough psychic Mother Shipton from May, followed by the much maligned last Plantagenet king, Richard III, from July and the Pearl of York, Saint Margaret Clitheroe, a 16th century martyr of the Roman Catholic Church, from October.

The York Dungeon, in Clifford Street, brings to life 2,000 years of York's "horrible history" in a 75-minute journey that combines theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes, black comedy and storytelling for a "walkthrough experience that you see, hear, touch, smell and feel". For more information on the shows, visit