Secret space brought to life by immersive Shakespeare production

By Martin Keane

Head of Marketing and Communications

How much of London remains secret, hidden away from locals and visitors? I don’t know, but the basement at the Palace would definitely fall into that category.

That’s until this September, when we open up this cavernous, eerie space to the public for one of the first times in living memory.

Throughout the month immersive theatre mavericks RIFT will be staging a rendering of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The characters will bound throughout the basement, with the audience rubbing shoulders with the cast of lovers and fairies and following their every move.

You’ll be up close to the unique location too. Rarely seen by anyone, the basement was part of the original design of the building, and survived both of the devastating fires in 1873 and 1980. Built to service all the Palace offered, the nineteenth century kitchens, service areas, stores and workshops are all still evident.

Optimized-Linen Room at Alexandra Palace

The Palace also housed 18,000 internees during the First World War, including captured German servicemen and, heartbreakingly, large numbers of ‘civilian aliens’. The relics of this period remain in the basement, including the internee cell bed, as well as brick furnace, wine vaults and flagstone paved floors.

Kitchen at Alexandra Palace

It’s one of our charity aims to open up more areas of the Palace for people to enjoy. We want to make the most of these heritage spaces, but to do so sensitively and in ways that can stimulate and exhilarate, like this production with RIFT will undoubtedly do.

So come along, immerse yourself in the play and this massive, rabbit warren of a time capsule. We can’t wait!

RIFT presents A Midsummers Night’s Dream runs from 6th – 28th September 2019.

Tickets are available here.

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