Illuminating the East End’s subterranean history

HAVE you ever wondered what secret tunnels and buildings are hidden under the city streets?

An artists’ collective is hoping to shed light on London’s subterranean world by extending an invitation to explore the ‘secret labyrinths’ beneath the streets of London by torchlight next week.

Audiences can take an illuminating art journey through the history of London’s underground tunnels in an exhibition featuring more than 50 artists recreating London’s buried secrets, with illuminating art, props and historical information.

Illumini will be held in the rustic basement of Shoreditch Town Hall and organisers say it promises to be an exciting and historical look into the history of the secret underground city.

The old, dark subterranean labyrinth, with its many rooms, alleyways and cells, will be transformed by artists’ and prop makers into several areas of historical underground London including World War bunkers, disused stations, crypts and historical waterways.

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The five-day event will start with a grand opening night next Thursday with free entertainment including stilt walkers, light shows, magicians, illuminating dancers and tarot reading and visitors can travel back in time with historical costumed performers.

During the event there will be free workshops, talks about London’s hidden underground secrets from authors, historians and museum curators as well as subterranean tours, with venues being opened to the public specially for the Illumini event.

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Tours include the grand entrance hall of Brunel’s Thames Tunnel, where artists Genetic Moo will be the first artists to exhibit in this unique space for over 140 years, with their light installation.

Another event will include a torch-lit tour of Shoreditch Church Crypt, known as Shakespeare’s church, which will reveal secret doors and entrances to underground gems.

There will also be talks on the occult history of London, and ghosts who walk the vaults at night.

Illumini events are free. The main exhibition in the basement of Shoreditch Town Hall in Old Street is open from 11am-7pm from Friday, September 10-Wednesday, September 15.

Opening night is on Thursday, September 9 from 6-10pm.

More details are available at

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