Special effects will transform the facade of Edinburgh Castle into Mount Everest for this year’s Tattoo, organisers revealed today.
The highest mountain on the planet will be depicted to celebrated the spectacular homeland of the Nepal Army Band during their performance on the esplanade.
Experts behind the opening ceremony of the London Olympics will be masterminding £250,000 worth of new projection technology which has been brought in to transform the look of the Tattoo after more than six decades.
The technical wizardry in the show, which gets underway on Thursday at the iconic landmark, will also be used to create a lavish 90th birthday celebration of the Queen.
Other highlights are expected to include a moving tribute to those involved in the Battle of Jutland - the largest naval conflict in the First World War - in the North Sea a century ago
The Jordanian Royal Guard, Band and Drill Team’s performance will honour the 100th anniversary of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire which the British Army encouraged during the war.
Brigadier David Allfrey, chief executive and producer of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, said: “Each and every year, we look to inspire a new generation of Tattoo devotees.
“We reach out into over 90 countries and normally have more than 20 nationalities represented in the cast.
“While we so enjoy welcoming a diverse international audience to Edinburgh every year, at this time, we think we have a special imperative: to celebrate the unique nature of every nation and their wonderful differences.
“The Tattoo team relish the opportunity to deliver a completely new show each year.
“And, while we strive to bring fresh ingredients into the production at each turn we always look to remain authentic and true to our heritage and values. We look to set just the right balance between ‘the new’ and ‘the familiar’.
“We are particularly proud to add our celebration to Her Majesty’s special year while marking other important anniversary’s: Jutland and the Great Arab Revolt.
Tickets are said to be selling at a “ferocious” pace for the event which has been a complete sell-out for the last 17 years - despite a top price of £300.
Special guests lined up for this year’s performance include New Zealand’s longest-running marching outfit, the Lochiel Marching Drill Team, the Norwegian King’s Guard and the Imp Motorcycle Display Team - one of the most popular acts in the 66-year history of the Tattoo.
The Royal Air Force will be staging five dramatic fly-pasts above the heads of the 8800-strong audience, including a one-off appearance by the Red Arrows this Saturday.
Brigadier Allfrey added: “Last year, we were described as ‘one of the greatest shows on earth’. This is a huge and uncommon accolade and we’ve been rewarded with tickets selling at a ferocious pace; faster than at any time since I have been the producer.
“There remains an extraordinary call for seats and often we are unable to satisfy the demand. This said, we have ‘returns’ each day, from folk who cannot attend for one reason or another and it always worth a quick call to the box office to see what seats might have come available - even at the last minute.”