Welcome to the Deadhouse was a one-night-only immersive experience created in collaboration with Somerset House.
The event, which was devised and delivered by Mask Events, was based on a “beauty in decay” theme. Mask set out to bring a dark, filmic, otherworldly experience to guests.
Guests were welcomed in an ethereal, but traditional event space for Champagne and canapés before things took a turn for the worse as the Gatekeeper of the Underworld made an appearance, swooping through the room and enticing guests with his promises of what lies on the other side.
Right on schedule, the Gatekeeper then led guests through the Dickensian Lightwells, clanging his bell to cleanse the Deadhouse of evil spirits en route. Some guests would have notice characters lurking in the shadows as they passed.
The Gatekeeper explained to guests that the inhabitants of the Deadhouse do not know they have passed and that they dwell in a peaceful place existing as they did in life: the child ghost with her dollhouse serving guests miniature fresh éclairs, the Plague Doctor dispensing his wares, the child violinist roaming the corridors playing her mournful swansong, the lonely clown all forlorn and finally the girl group (performed by the wonderful Hey Las) at the end of the space, performing an incredible set specifically written with Mask for the event.
All event staff were in costume with not a radio in sight. Eccentric and deadly floristry was provided by preferred collaborators The Urban Flower Firm throughout, with the scent of hyacinths pervading the deadly spaces, a giant tree composed of mannequins and branches stretched across a long dining table that was laid Miss Havisham-style for guests to perch at whilst enjoying food from Bubble and decadent cocktails from We Are Tea and Greenall’s Gin.
For more information on bespoke events visit mask.co.uk.
Photos: Andy Ryan Photography