Magic Alley & The Lost Years Of William Shakespeare; the world's oldest makers and purveyors of magical wares, and msueum of magic, fairytales and time travel

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Magic Alley After Dark: the ultimate escape room experience




William Shakespeare is without doubt the most performed playwright of all time!  Author of 37 plays, 154 sonnets and several epic poems that uniquely celebrate the breadth and depth of human emotions in the English language and yet… not a single manuscript of any kind has ever been found written in his own hand. In over 400 years of study and research, scholars have failed to discover a single poem, play, diary or even letter in his handwriting.

Magic Alley After Dark, is the ultimate escape room. It is an epic, fully immersive, story driven journey that puts you in the middle of an adventure full of intrigue - in fact it’s an adventure movie brought to life where you fearlessly play the lead role.  You have just 60 minutes to work as a team and test your skills by solving the puzzles and unearthing the truth in each room before the sands run out in the hourglass moving you on to the next challenge.

Dave Matthews, creative director of Magic Alley has researched escape rooms and puzzle rooms all over the world. “You might think that every variation of Escape Rooms has been covered; from a game in London where you have to find a bottle of wine hidden by the corpse of a school’s headmistress to a psychopath’s basement in Los Angeles there really is a wide range of escape rooms to escape from. But Magic Alley After Dark is something completely different.”

The team behind the concept have been providing family friendly puzzle rooms and promenade theatre experiences through their attractions for nearly 28 years and Stratford’s Magic Alley After Dark is the culmination of that experience. With twelve separate rooms all of which are in play at the same time – it’s more crystal maze than locked room – and working in teams of between four and six people you solve the first 14 puzzles - each of which will give you part of the 15th and final puzzle that needs to be solved before time runs out, so there’s no time to argue.

William Shakespeare was born the son of a glove maker, the third of eight children, in Stratford upon Avon in 1564. Then, at some unknown time and with relatively little education, we are supposed to believe that he left Stratford and travelled to London to become an actor and then a playwright.  He was survived by his wife and his two daughters, who were, like his father, irrefutably illiterate.  In fact, his Last Will & Testament famously left his “Second Best Bed” to his widow, but made no mention of a single book, set of accounts or manuscript of any kind.

Is it possible that Shakespeare owned no books at the time of his death because he could not read? That he wrote no letters because like his father and his children he could not write? Or is the truth so improbable and inflammatory that on his deathbed he instructed his son-in-law and physician, Dr John Hall, to destroy every last scrap of his personal writings lest the contents be misconstrued and dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic – thus destroying his credibility and his legacy?

Join your host, a Victorian Time Traveller who will guide you through the maze of puzzles using his Map of Time offering clues where needed and enhancing the backstory of your quest as you search for the truth behind Will’s greatest secret..

Dave continues: “Shakespeare’s story is told not from fact and historical evidence but by conjecture and with imagination.  So, let us offer you a different tale, a darker version of events if you will: a tale of quills and magic; of power and beguilement; of dragons and wizards. A tale that might just prove that far from being an illiterate grain merchant, William Shakespeare was in fact a time travelling wizard...”

Magic Alley After Dark launches on Midsummers Night, June 21st, and will then run through until the end of October. The minimum number of participants is 5 and the cost per person is £18.00. Your party can contain multiple groups of up to 36 people in total.  Events run from 5.30pm in the evening.

Booking is essential, you cannot just turn up.


 "Wonderful stories - thank you!"   "The Wizarding Timeline was awesome!"    "OMG! You've got wands!"
"You made our visit to Stratford - thank you!"    "It's a must see for fans of Wizard's Thatch!"
"We drove for 4 hours to get to you, was it worth it?  You bet it was, thank you!"

Magic Alley & The Lost Years Of William Shakespeare; the world's oldest makers and purveyors of magical wares, and msueum of magic, fairytales and time travel

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