Stratford-upon-Avon’s newest family attraction – Magic Alley – is now open in Bell Court.
A festival of magic, dance, acrobatics and live music provided the dramatic fanfare for the opening of Magic Alley, which moved from its Henley Street premises, where it had been welcoming locals and visitors for 18 years.
Here’s a look at how Saturday’s grand opening went:
The new Magic Alley in Bell Court – a whopping 4,500 square feet of magical exhibits and experiences – is now open. But until you can get there, you can have a preview of the new Magic Alley with Stratfordblog.
A peek at the new Magic Alley
These tantalising images reveal just a tiny selection of the amazing new experience at Magic Alley, which whisks visitors into a magical realm of a time-travelling William Shakespeare. With a blend of science, magic, and art – plus a touch of Victorian imagination and steampunk style – Magic Alley explores those famous lost years of William Shakespeare and answers the question: “what if Shakespeare really was a time traveller?”
There’s a new shop selling toys, gifts and books you won’t find in huge retailers, plus a brand new Golden Broomstick: Pumpkin, Butter and Root Beer Bar – a space in which to relax and have a drink and snack, even if you’re not visiting the exhibit.
Who’s behind Magic Alley?
Magic Alley is the brainchild of Dave Matthews, who penned the Chronicles of Wizard’s Thatch series about a time-travelling Shakespeare. He said: “Time travel is the only possible solution for those lost years of William Shakespeare. There is so much magic in his work, such a broad base of knowledge about the world in a time without Google. It makes sense!
“With Magic Alley, we have concentrated on providing what local people and visitors want. It is a magical lifestyle emporium and wizard experience and, thanks to solely local architects and tradespeople, we have created a place that is accessible to all. There is a buggy park downstairs, a lift to the first floor and every doorway is at least 1.5 metres wide, much wider than it needed to be. We want to give ease of access to everything without losing the charm we had in Henley Street.
“That will be especially important at Christmas, when families come to see Father Christmas. We have always provided for wheelchair users, but this year the experience will be truly accessible to all for the first time. It is a dream realised to achieve that.”
What happened during the opening event
There were magical performances in Bell Court from acts including aerial dance performer Scarlet Butterfly, band Shades on Black, magicians Griffin and Jones, the RozieT Dance Academy and The Magic Ball Man.
Call 01789 290969 to book your visit or simply turn up.
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Information correct at date of publication