The ‘hidden theatre’ at the Alexandra Palace reopens following a 27 million-pound refurbishment
| By Ephram Ryan
For the first time in over 80 years, a timeframe that spans longer than Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, the Alexandra Palace will be holding regularly scheduled performances in its newly refurbished Victorian theatre, beginning with the opening of Horrible Christmas on 13 December.
For a period lasting longer than the current British monarch’s reign, the Alexandra Palace’s Victorian theatre has long been forgotten, despite the Alexandra Palace itself hosting many live concerts over the years. But even with such star power as Florence Welch, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones playing within the palace walls, the venue’s performance theatre has remained ‘hidden.'
When the Alexandra Palace Theatre first opened its doors in 1875, crowds of 3,000 people would flock to see its shows each night and it was home to some of the most cutting-edge stage mechanics ever seen at the time. But after many years of operas, dramas, ballets, concerts, and pantomimes, the theatre’s audience began to dwindle when the West End became increasingly more popular.
The theatre at the Alexandra Palace, nicknamed the Ally Pally, was eventually repurposed as a shelter used by Belgian refugees during the First World War and as an internment camp for German prisoners during the Second World War. The theatre has also been used as a storage room for BBC’s props and a workshop before collecting dust for many years.
Early attempts to renovate the theatre never came to fruition until the Heritage Lottery Fund, Haringey Council, and such A-list actors as Emma Thompson and Sandi Toksvig stepped in to back the restoration project. The refurbishment did not come cheaply, costing a whopping 27 million pounds, but the transformation may prove to be worth the wait! The newly configured auditorium seats approximately 900 audience members and has a standing capacity of approximately 1300.
Following Horrible Christmas, which is booking from 13 December to 30 December 2018, the Alexandra Palace Theatre will host the Headlong production of Richard III starring Tom Mothersdale as The Hunchback King. Richard III opens on 13 March 2019 and is booking until 31 March 2019.
Rediscover London’s hidden gem and witness first-hand the extravagance of the newly renovated Ally Pally Theatre! The anticipation to see the long-awaited refurbishment of the Alexandra Palace Theatre means tickets to Richard III and Horrible Christmas will sell out fast!
Be sure to book your tickets early and get the best Ally Pally seats by using our interactive seating plan
Purchase your tickets to Horrible Christmas.
Purchase your tickets to Richard III.