Alexandra Palace set to re-open following newly restored East Court and Theatre
After 80 years of the space being closed to the public, Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust (APPCT) has today given the first glimpse of its Theatre and East Court as finishing touches are being made for the opening events this weekend. The reopening follows the completion of a hugely ambitious, three-year East Wing Restoration Project realised by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.
The East Wing Restoration Project would not have been possible without the support of the National Lottery and Haringey Council. The East Wing Restoration is £27 million project – the £18.8 million National Lottery grant was one of their biggest ever for a heritage project.
Louise Stewart, Chief Executive of APPCT, said: “This December, people from London and beyond will be able to explore this incredible space that has been hidden from the public. The Christmas Carnival is a great opportunity to celebrate the hard work that has gone into completing this immense project, but also give people a chance to experience the work of the Charity and our Creative Learning Programme. We would like to thank the HLF, Haringey Council and the countless individuals, trusts and businesses who have supported this project and helped make the reopening a reality.”
Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, London said: “Alexandra Palace is one of North London’s best-loved landmarks and has played an era-defining role in popular culture, from the birth of television to the Pink Floyd-headlined 14 Hour Technicolour Dream. The beautifully-restored Theatre and East Court will build on this unique legacy, and is only possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players”.
On the 1st and 2nd December, Alexandra Palace will open its doors to the public with a weekend of free events and celebrations as it begins its Christmas Carnival. On 1st December, the BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Singers will return to the Alexandra Palace Theatre, following their performances as part of the BBC Proms, to curate a day of music and interaction. Families will be able to perform and rehearse with the renowned orchestra and performers – creating a new Christmas piece. The performance will be recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 over Christmas. Open to ages 7-plus and all abilities are welcome. Registration via christmas.alexandrapalace.com is required.
On 2nd December, Haringey Music Service will be inviting its choirs, made up of young people from across the borough, to rehearse and perform in the Theatre throughout the day. This will be followed by a free finale performance from Haringey Music Service’s Symphony Orchestra.
Ally Pally Christmas Carnival will run from the 1st until the 16th December. Throughout the period, the Palace will host performances from local choirs, free workshops run by the Palace’s Creative Learning Team, a Christmas market curated by the Crouch End Market and Muswell Hill Creatives, funfair and street food. The events will run alongside ticketed attractions including a Santa’s Grotto, film screenings with Luna Cinema and the Palace’s ever-popular Ice Rink and Pantomime on Ice. The full programme can be found at christmas.alexandrapalace.com.
Whilst the restoration project for the Alexandra Palace Theatre is completed and both it and the East Court are now open to the public once again, work doesn’t stop here. A new café and Creative Learning Zone are to be constructed within the East Court to ensure the public can use the space throughout the day and around the year.