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Theatre Royal Drury Lane Halloween Tour

Do you like theatre? Do you like theatre history? Do you like theatre history with a ghostly theme? If you can answer yes to all three of these then the Theatre Royal Drury Lane’s late-night Halloween tour is the place to be.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane Auditorium © Philip Vile.
Theatre Royal Drury Lane Auditorium © Philip Vile.

The night starts in the Cecil Beaton bar where you can sip an appropriately themed cocktail before heading off to meet your host and explore the recently refurbished theatre. This is a fascinating trip around the theatre from top to bottom with the tour guides not only telling the history of the theatre itself but also explaining how the Lane, as its often known, has not only been the location for many of the firsts in the theatre world but has also been the originator of some of the great traditions and superstitions that exist today. Why is it unlucky to whistle on a stage? I know now, but you need to do the tour to find out.

As the tour moves from top to literally the bottom of the theatre you learn so much about the history and get a chance to see the wonderful, worth every penny, £60 million refurbishment which has restored the theatre to its Georgian glory with 21st-century facilities. However, no matter how much work has been done to refurbish the place, it has not lost its ghostly inhabitants and this tour really delves into the spectral spectators who love the theatre so much they have never left. You will learn of the phantom prompter, the critic who lets an actor know when they aren’t delivering and the famous grey man that watches from the circle, and this tour will tell you all about them – who knows you may even get to see something that you can’t explain.

This was a fun and fascinating tour of a much-loved old theatre which, in its various guises has stood in the same spot since 1663. At around 60 minutes the tour is a nice length, though I would quite happily have been there much longer. The guides/hosts are warm friendly people with a wealth of knowledge and great personalities who instantly established a good rapport with the group I was in. In the end, I had learned much, been intrigued to know more, and even had my certainty that there were no such things as ghosts challenged. A resounding success for the organisers I would say.

*****

From 25th – 31st October, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the world, will host late-night theatre tours for Halloween for the first time. Once featured on Most Haunted, the one-hour guided tour of Theatre Royal Drury Lane will begin at 9:45pm taking guests on a whistle-stop tour of ghostly theatrical history across the front and backstage of this iconic London landmark.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, affectionately called The Lane, notoriously has a cast of ghostly residents, whose stories will intrigue and haunt theatregoers, tourists, and Londoners alike. For this Halloween season only, guests can unearth hidden tales, scandal, conspiracy and hear ghost stories from the theatres, both past and present, on this exclusive tour.

Along the way, learn about the pioneers of acting and playwriting, including William Shakespeare, David Garrick and Richard Sheridan, and hear about revolutionary moments in theatrical history. Discover the theatre’s fascinating story, including its connection to World War II, and why The Lane is the only theatre in the world with two Royal boxes. To end, the tour actors will recall their personal ghost stories and previous experiences within the theatre before encouraging guests to share their own.

The experience will start with a pre-tour Halloween cocktail in the Cecil Beaton bar. Expert tour actors will unearth hidden tales and there may be sightings of the theatre’s most famous ghost, The Man in Grey. The Theatre Royal Drury Lane Halloween tour is the ultimate spooky experience, in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.

Tours are available from 25th-31st October. Arrival time is 9.15pm. Tour finishes at 10.45pm. To book, please visit: www.thelane.co.uk/tours-and-experiences
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, Covent Garden

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