Dear friends and fellow felons,
I’m writing you this letter to speak of my time incarcerated at Alcotraz – London’s newest and most formidable prison.
Controversy has most certainly sparked around the opening of this prison-themed bar venue – particularly regarding its prison theme, and the sentencing fee required of all inmates. However, having a penchant for gimmicks – and an all-round fascination with prison documentaries – I decided it would be in my best interests to self-surrender, in order to inform other potential prisoners about the peaks and pitfalls of life inside Alcotraz.
Upon arrival to the penitentiary, we were quickly stripped of our coats by the tough-guy prison guard and given classic orange jumpsuits to wear. Identical, with the only recognisable feature being a unique prison number emblazoned on the chest. Thankfully, we were allowed to keep personal effects on hand – cameras, phones and handbags could accompany us to our cells.
The interior of Alcotraz prison is dark and lined with cells of different sizes – seating between two and four people each. We were instructed to stay within our cells, unless we needed to use the bathroom, and that. Along the outside of the cells, the imposing Warden strolls – interacting with prisoners and imparting his religious beliefs.
Thankfully, not everyone feels this way. Within 10 minutes of our incarceration, we were visited by a fellow inmate, who offered to make us a drink. And asked if we’d brought anything ‘special’ for her. That’d be the bottle of gin that I’d expertly hidden on my way in, of course.
Our first beverage was sweet and refreshing, our second stronger and more punchy. Each of the four drinks we were served featured different cocktail mixer ingredients with our prohibited gin – often fruity, and very tasty.
As the third cocktails were taken, misbehaviour began to ensue – resulting in four of my fellow Alcotraz prisoners being taken down to ‘the hole’. We never discovered what happened to them there, even after they came back out looking like they’d seen some true horrors.
I’m aware of the cost that incarceration at Alcotraz incurs – a total of £33.99 per person, plus the cost of the BYO alcohol. If it was JUST a bar, it would of course be ridiculous. But in a city where people pay £75 for an immersive cinema trip; or £27 for a trip around the London Eye, it’s perhaps not as ridiculous as it might seem at first. And as another comparison – the popular BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktail) experience is £30 for entry, with less entertainment value.
So it may seem pricey without context – but when you consider other experiences in London, the value is more understandable. The experience of Alcotraz is theatrical and immersive. If you’re the type to say ‘Why can’t people just GO FOR A DRINK AT THE PUB’, this probably isn’t for you. But if you like theatrics, unusual activities and doing something different, it just might be.
As a special incentive from me to you, to encourage your own self-surrender, simply use CONFESS10 when you book for a 10% discount on your incarceration fee.
Your Favourite Fugitive
212 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SA
*We were given complimentary tickets in exchange for review