Secret Cinema has become a recognised experience being hailed as the next step for immersive cinema by many. This is their 19th production but it is showing no signs of losing momentum or innovation. The concept is a mixture of theatre, culinary treats and mystery that leaves you guessing till the end.
We have been summoned for a court trial, the atmosphere is set right from the start. As we wait to be seen there is a genuine sense of unease and excitement, the court is dark, moody lit and we solitarily face a stern judge who towers over us on his raised desk. All of a sudden we are dropped into a fictional alternate 1940s reality. By the time we are transported to our next destination I am already convinced this is going to be a memorable night.
The production is so fantastic that is hard not to get caught up in the act. Participation is encouraged and only adds to the experience, but as there is no distinction between actors and those attending, you are apart of the production without realising. As I glance across the many rooms and people I pass in the walkways I can’t tell the actors from attendants and take on a persona of my own.
The location is massive and after being inducted we are left to explore as we wish.
This is the best part.
There is so much going on, the place is filled with hidden rooms that have unique events. Actors will stop you along the way and interact or question you. It feels as if we are breaking the rules, but finding a new room, actor and activity is the reward; even to the point of finding food and drink during the night via hidden bars and people. Despite being given this much freedom to explore, the scenarios of the night to gather the crowds are well organised and feel organic to the experience. It builds to a crescendo which has everyone’s energy and spirits up!
By the time the film starts rolling and you recognise what’s playing, having experienced everything so far, you are enveloped in the atmosphere. You whoop, cheer and jeer the characters like never before. Cinema is no longer just sitting in silence and being disconnected from the audience around you, it is after all a social experience.
When the film ends it is not over for some, this time a secret hotel has been added in which attendants can extend their experience, the actors never break character from start to finish.
I want to tell everything I have experienced beaming with delight, but this would take away from the enjoyment and the appeal of Secret Cinema. The mystique that what happens there stays secret is a big factor and the knowledge that you’re one of the few to have experienced this is something to be envious of.
Judging by this production it is only getting better and I cannot wait for the next production.
Book via : http://www.secretcinema.org/