Cover Felix, where Nights at Studio 54 will be stage (Photo: The Peninsula Hong Kong)

The five-star hotel will play host to a new immersive theatre experience inspired by the legendary Manhattan nightclub

Imagine raising a glass of champagne to Nicole Kidman, dining with Andy Warhol, or being serenaded by A-listers like Freddie Mercury and Elton John—all at once.

That can become a reality at The Peninsula Hong Kong, which is presenting Nights at Studio 54, an immersive theatrical production created by the London-based theatre company Secret Theatre, from October 6 to December 10 at its modern European restaurant Felix.

The show is inspired by Studio 54, the iconic New York City nightclub that operated from 1977 to 1986 and is still remembered today as the epicentre of disco and hedonism of its time. The nightclub attracted A-listers in droves: Hollywood’s elite rubbed shoulders with politicians and drag queens. Nights at Studio 54 will present stories based on the urban myths of what went on behind the club’s curtains. Actors portraying screen and music legends of yesteryear—and today—will mingle with guests. An elaborate three-course meal will be served—a move that pays homage to Studio 54’s “secret dinners” as well as Paris’s Moulin Rouge.

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“It’s a dream of mine to travel back to Studio 54—I have been obsessed with that particular time in New York for a while and have always wanted to create a show set in that era,” says Secret Theatre founder Richard Crawford, who is a theatre director. Last year, he ran into Nicole Kidman and Floyd Mayweather at The Peninsula—it was a “starstuck moment” that cemented the idea behind the production.

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This isn’t Secret Theatre’s first venture in Hong Kong. It staged the sold-out Great Gatsby show last year, also at The Peninsula; the thriller Hannibal Lecter at Tai Kwun in 2019; and various other shows where the locations and stories were kept under wraps until the very last moment. Founded in New York in 2008, Secret Theatre has staged site-specific, immersive theatre experiences around the world.

In Hong Kong, dinner, champagne and theatre are “a combination that really works”, says Crawford—though ultimately, the allure of immersive theatre lies in how it brings people closer to famous celebrities or unusual experiences. “People love to take photos with waxworks [of celebrities]—but what if those waxworks spoke [and] danced, and you saw their secrets and stories?” he says. “I thought that could really work and be a lot of fun.”

And for Nights at Studio 54, the director is pulling out the stops. “We really want to blow the audience away.”

From October 6 to December 10, 2022. Felix, The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Find out more at peninsula.com.

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