A new Crystal Maze Experience site is set to open in the London Trocadero, which has undergone a massive renovation in recent years. The flagship Picturehouse Central cinema is located in Shaftesbury Avenue, right in the centre of London’s ‘theatreland’. Earlybird tickets are now on sale for the Crystal Maze, ahead of the official launch in spring 2019.
Prankster Dom Joly has made a series of sketches to celebrate the announcement.
Since opening in 2016 in Islington, the experience has grown in popularity, with a second location being introduced last year in Manchester. The Went End venue will see all-day opening hours and offer visitors the chance to book on the same day. The new maze will also allow a younger fanbase to participate, with the minimum age being lowered to 13. There are also 32 new games available, as well as a Maze Bar.
The original Crystal Maze TV series first landed on British TV screens in 1990 and saw contestants race around four zones, taking on challenges and tests based on different criteria. The physical, mental, mystery and skill challenges became playground favourites and original host Richard O’Brien became a cult hero best remembered for his dry put downs and sardonic humour.
The show ran for five years, but was cancelled O’Brien’s replacement host, Ed Tudor Pole, failed to connect with audiences. However, there was a one-off special presented by comedian Stephen Merchant in 2016, and the series has now been revived under the stewardship of Richard Ayoade.
The recent interest in the TV series has undoubtedly been fuelled by the popularity of the live experience, which began as a crowd-funded experiment in 2015. Over 300,000 visitors have taken on the Aztec, Medieval, Futuristic and Industrial zones, with each room offering the prize of a crystal. Once completed, the maze ends with a final challenge, where the crystals are exchanged for time in a dome and the objective is to retrieve as many golden tickets as possible.
Tom Lionetti-Maguire, co-founder of Little Lion Entertainment, says of the launch; “The past few years has seen success beyond our wildest expectations and the culmination of this, is launching our new flagship venue on Shaftesbury Avenue. To be opening an attraction in the Trocadero feels like a dream. We believe this will set a new standard for entertainment in London and we can’t wait to show it off to people.”
The Crystal Maze Live will open in London’s West End in spring 2019. In the meantime, you can take on the challenge at the other sites in Islington and Manchester.