With just a few days to go to Halloween, we were invited to pop along to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, lavishly refurbished and restored to experience the Lane’s late-night Halloween tours.
What better place to have a Halloween Ghost Tour than London’s most haunted theatre (some have said the most haunted in the world) the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, now certainly one of the most beautiful thanks to a £60 million restoration.
From 25th – 31st October limited edition, Halloween tours are being held for the first time in addition to the backstage tours normally offered by The Lane.
For theatre lovers, it’s an evening granting you amazing access to backstage areas of this great theatre and an eye-opening deep dive into the history of British Theatre, much of which was introduced at one of the incarnations of the Theatre Royal Lane (There have been four on the site since 1663). The theatre boasts one of the largest commercial stages in Europe is where saw modern pantomime was born, epic theatre productions were launched and the introduction of large-scale moving scenery was introduced.
The Halloween tour not only introduces you to the potential theatrical ghosts you may meet at The Lane, including The Man In Grey whose body was found boarded up in the theatre walls with a knife in his ribs, the ghosts of actors including Charles Macklin, the clown Joseph Grimaldi and the legendary Dan Leno amongst others. Sceptical? Ask your hosts to show you the photo taken during Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Spooky!
The tour guided when we visited by David Kerby-Kendall and James Byng saw us get incredible access to the beautiful new auditorium, through backstage areas with a pitstop in the Royal Retiring Room right down into the bowels of the theatre under the stage. Our host’s encyclopedic knowledge of the venue and comic schtick made the night only slightly scary but hugely entertaining.
It’s a great night out, and if you did happen to encounter one of the ethereal residents there’s always a themed cocktail at the new Cecil’s bar in the main foyer to calm your nerves.
What more could you want this Halloween?
Theatre Royal Drury Lane Halloween Tours last approx one hour and run until 31 October. Arrival time is 9.15 pm with the tour concluding at 10.45 pm. Tickets are £25.
The theatre’s normal tours continue to run during the day at specified times if a non-ghostly tour is more your cup of tea.