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Blog: Secret Cinema

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I spent Monday to Wednesday last week at WORK - three GRUELLING days of ... er... looking at ideas for telly shows, which came to an end with well deserved BEERS in The Parcel Yard with The Days In My Week and The Hewitts. I was KNACKERED and ready to LOLL AROUND, but this was not to be for Thursday brought ACTION!

It started with a trip into town for a protest outside The Royal Courts Of Justice, supporting The Badger Trust's case that further "controlled shooting" should be done under Independent Monitoring. It was a GOOD CAUSE which will hopefully win, and we spent a solid hour there listening to speeches, but we'll have to wait to see if it's successful.

After that worthy work we nipped into Soho for some shopping, a BEER, and then came home to sort through our wardrobes for anything vaguely 50's looking, because that evening we were off to see Secret Cinema's showing of "Back To The Future". This has been a CAUSE CELEBRE in London Town lately as the entire first WEEK got cancelled at short notice, but it had been getting good reviews so we thought we'd go. ALSO, and perhaps more pertinently, it's 10 minutes from our front door. All the previews, news stories and reviews of it kept saying "It's in Hackney Wick", which confused me as it seemed that somebody ELSE had built a GIGANTIC replica of Hill Valley slap bang in the middle of the Olympic Park (and, as mentioned a few weeks ago, was driving a DeLorean around), so when it turned that it was one and the same thing, right on our doorstep, it felt like it would have been rude not to go.

We were glad we did, as it was BLOODY GRATE! Right from the start there was STUFF going on. As we queued up there were ACTORS dressed as policemen guiding us in, George McFly went by on his bike pursued by Biff and the Gang, and once inside all the staff were talking in Non-Specific Area American Accents. Sometimes that kind of thing can be a bit uncomfortable/annoying but it was so nicely and CONSISTENTLY done that it was FUN. Once in we strolled past a PETTING FARM (representing the farm Marty crashes the DeLorean into), then LOADS of people wandering around, buildings fully staffed and a whole TOWN's worth of things to look at.

The general effect of LOTS happening was added to by the fact that nearly EVERYBODY had made the effort to get dressed up, including us - me and The Nephew were fully bow-tied and more, while The Niece and The Clothes Of My Fashion were similarly chiffoned. It was often hard to tell who was a spectator and who was a performer, such was the completeness of dressing up. We wandered around looking at stuff, and this was where my only mild complaint came in - there was so much STUFF that it felt like we were MISSING things all the time. I know that's more my problem than anything else tho - I felt the same when I went to Secret Garden Party and End Of The Road and people kept talking about "secret gigs". I don't want secret gigs, I want to see EVERYTHING!

At around 9pm the film itself started and was, of course, ACE. We'd done homework the week before by watching it again, which meant we were free to enjoy a) how brilliant it really is and b) all the other things happening. Key scenes were acted out on stage in front of the big screen, and other events happened around us - we were all sat in the "town square" watching the film projected on the town hall, with a road surrounding us which various VEHICLES drove around, including Marty skateboarding behind a jeep, Biff's gang chasing him later on and, my favourite, the Libyan terrorists racing after the DeLorean shooting a BAZOOKA.

Again, it could all have been a bit tatty and annoying but it was done so well and consistently that it was a DELIGHT. As the film went on, and because people KNEW it so well, there were certain points where everyone thought "ooh! there'll be a THING in a minute!" and started looking around. The BIG BIT was when Doc has to abseil down from the clock near the end - it totally happened, much to everyone's JOY!

It was pretty darn brilliant and has apparently sold out now for the rest of the run. I think this is a lesson for us all - cancel the first week and the publicity will get everyone to notice you. I think I might do that for Edinburgh next year!

posted 27/8/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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