It’s so lovely to see London’s iconic buildings get a new lease of life after restoration. The latest building in London to get the treatment is Alexandra Palace. While not really a ‘palace’ in the palace sense, Alexandra Palace has been a destination for entertainment since it was built in the Victorian Era. It’s most famous as the place where the BBC started broadcasting television from (the antenna is still there!).
Here are the details on the new restoration – the biggest news is that the theatre is re-opening to the public – scroll down for images of the restoration work:
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.
Alexandra Palace’s Creative Learning programme will be at the heart of the East Court and will be home to the new Creative Learning Zone. This brand new space will provide year-round events and activities that engage and inspire groups from across the city. The Creative Learning Zone and café will open in Spring 2019.
Here’s a look at all the pictures that we were sent today (click or tap to view a fullscreen version):
Here’s a list of the upcoming events at Alexandra Palace:
ALLY PALLY CHRISTMAS CARNIVAL
1st – 16th December
1st & 2nd December, all day
GILBERT & GEORGE
in conversation with Michael Bracewell
3rd December, 8pm
4th December, 7:15pm
Tickets from £25
RONNIE SCOTT’S PRESENTS… TAKE 6
5th December, 8pm
Tickets from £23.50
RONNIE SCOTT’S PRESENTS… COURTNEY PINE
6th December, 8pm
Tickets from £15
DYLAN MORAN: DR. COSMOS
7th – 8th December, 8pm
CHRISTMAS WITH GARETH MALONE
9th December, 7.30pm
Tickets from £15
13th – 30th December, timings vary
Tickets from £18
FRIDAY NIGHT IS MUSIC NIGHT WITH ALFIE BOE
18th December, 7.30pm
Tickets: £15 & £25
Alexandra Palace Theatre
Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY
Box Office: 0208 365 2121