Welcome to the Deadhouse

A dark, filmic experience within Somerset House's Dickensian Lightwells

Brief:

We worked in partnership with Somerset House to deliver a dark, filmatic experience for guests of Mask.

Solution:

Welcome to the Deadhouse was a one-night-only immersive experience created in collaboration with Somerset House.

The theme was “beauty in decay”. We set out to devise and a deliver a dark, filmatic, otherworldly experience.

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 appeared, swooping through the room and enticing guests with his promises of what lay on the other side.

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.

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. Decadent cocktails were provided by We Are Tea and Greenall’s Gin.

 

"This is the realisation of a dream that we hatched with Somerset House over a year ago and the creative process has been a thrill. It was all about the timing and finding the right partners with a shared vision to bring Welcome to the Deadhouse to life and generate a popularity and a buzz beyond our wildest dreams. Client feedback has been outstanding, we’re beyond delighted."