Today, the City of London’s square mile comes alive with a spectacular day of immersive, theatrical events. This must-see adventure is called The Golden Key. It runs from midday to sunset with more than 30 independent theatre companies and 200 performers taking part. This fun and free extravaganza brings alive the stories of London.
The Golden Key takes place across the City of London, in some of the area’s most well-known and much-loved historic places and attractions. St Paul’s Cathedral Churchyard, the historic Guildhall Yard, and the London Wall High Walks are each hosting a street festival. They’ll feature a fantastical mix of giant puppets, circus performers, contemporary dancers, jugglers, storytellers and interactive theatre. While an adventure maze, secret performances and a hunt for The Golden Key, add to the day of extraordinary entertainment.
But that’s not all. The climax of the event will see three dramatic fire finales, one at each festival space. These finales feature breath-taking performances, flaming beacons, and a thrilling fire garden to light up the evening.
Square Mile stories on the High Walks
From London Wall to the Museum of London, the City’s High Walks are set to transform into a storytelling promenade. This network of walkways bring to life some of the City’s most fascinating moments in history. So, expect storytellers, poets and puppeteers to pop-up and share lesser-known stories, from ancient tales of Roman Londinium to those of shopkeepers and Suffragettes.
Agile acrobatics in Guildhall Yard
Head to Guildhall Yard for a showcase of stunning acrobatic displays around a giant key. A parade of stilt walkers, giant puppets and contemporary brass bands also parade across the space throughout the day.
Meanwhile, in the ancient Guildhall’s underground Crypt, you can explore London’s vibrant LGBTQ+ scene with the help of drag and cabaret acts and DJs. And in Guildhall’s Great Hall, you’ll find Future City. This is where London’s young people are invited to reimagine and build their dream city. To top off the entertainment, Guildhall’s Roman Amphitheatre hosts a dazzling circus show.
A feast of interactive performances at St Paul’s
Over at St Paul’s Churchyard, there’s a bustling marketplace. This is inspired by Cheapside, which home to one of London’s oldest markets.
Plus, there’ll be interactive performances taking place, from poetry to puppetry. Watch an outdoor circus show and celebrate the area’s diversity with music spanning from the folk tunes of Eastern Europe to pulsating rhythms of Africa and Cuba.
Mazes, hidden gardens and a hunt for The Golden Key
Throughout the day, doors to The Maze of Adventures appear across the City, opening up multiple adventures, guided via your smartphone. Each of these end with a secret immersive performance, set in quirky venues that range from hidden gardens to listed buildings.
You’re also invited to join The Hunt, to crack the riddles and rhymes of the City of London and find the prize of a golden key. And so you can carry on the fun well into the evening, Square Mile cafes, pubs, bars, and restaurants are hosting after parties.
The Golden Key event is taking place as part of the City of London’s Destination City programme. This programme aims to make the area a leading UK destination for visitors, workers and residents alike.
For more quirky festivals, click this way!
When: 15th October 2022, 12pm to 9.30pm
Where: At locations across the City of London
£: Free, no booking required