Shhh… Don’t tell a soul…
It’s hard to talk about ‘Secret Cinema’ because the creators want to keep it …a secret.
Yes, I know I’ve just opened this review with a ground-breakingly insightful sentence.
Look, I’ll tell you as much as I possibly can about it without getting myself into trouble.
Secret Cinema is an incredibly unique movement which will leave you dizzy with a cinematic hangover. Everything is mysterious -even the booking process leaves you asking questions (you can book online though. It;s not SO mysterious that you have to meet a stranger in a dark alleyway at midnight, don’t worry.)
One you’ve bought your tickets and paid in advance, you’re not any the wiser than you were before making your purchase, except that they’ve made you slightly poorer. You don’t even find out what film you’ll be watching until you get there …and you don’t actually know where ‘there’ is until a few days before. In fact, you don’t even know what you’ll be wearing until they tell you. It’s all very cloak-and-dagger. (I mean that metaphorically, not dress-code wise.)
Of course, not knowing what you’re going to see or where you’re seeing it is half the fun, seeing as Secret Cinema’s entire concept is that they physically build and create the film …and then let you loose for a few hours to run around in amongst it all like an adult playground. After a few hours of endless fun in this alternative make-believe universe, the curtain comes up, the film is finally revealed and everyone sits down together to watch it.
So, we’re talking …One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest, for example -a past production of theirs. This was set in an old hospital, dimly lit, filled with actors dressed as medical professionals. Pretend classes were also led for patients (that’s you and me) in subjects such as drawing or yoga. Tablets (ok, jelly beans) were distributed to a line of queueing patients and the theme song to the movie played eerily throughout the hospital over the intercom to perhaps drive you a bit mad, pre-film. Method acting, why not?!
So, if you feel that the usual local multiplex has been done to death, head to Secret Cinema’s website for the ultimate surreal cinematic experience.