How can Secret Cinema possibly top their run of ‘Prometheus’ in June? Fly the audience to Mars in a spaceship to watch ‘Star Wars’? We found out on Wednesday at the opening night of their new production. They’ve gone back to basics with a jaw-dropping venue and an experience that’s been thought through to the last detail. I felt a genuine shiver of fear when we arrived at the clandestine location (at this point, people with an encyclopaedic knowledge of film dialogue guessed the film, though everyone else already had their suspicions). Everything stays hush-hush til the run finishes on December 2, but I will say is that some people, men mostly, have a phobia of the real-life version.
If you’ve got tickets (and there’s still a few available, mainly matinees) here’s a few tips.
Get there early
You’ll get an email the day before, with details of where to go and how to dress (pretty no-fuss this time, relief). I’d recommend skiving off work and booking an early-ish arrival slot (they start at 5ish). Tickets aren’t cheap (they’ve gone up by a tenner, £43.50/£33.50 concs), so get your money’s worth. And you’ll want explore this venue.
If there’s a door, open it. If there’s a corridor, have a wander. We nearly missed a bunch of things happening. This is no time to be a wallflower. Oh, and heed the advice to take cash. You’ll need it for your library card, to take out books (ahem).
Stay until the end
… even if you’ve seen the film. It’s a thing at Secret Cinema that once people have enjoyed the interactive-theatre experience at the start, they can start slipping away. The organisers have cottoned on to this and have staged something halfway through the film. Trust me, it’ll put a smile on your face.
This time round they’ve got Secret Hotel, so you can stay the night when the film’s over for £30. I have to admit I wasn’t massively tempted by a ‘dormitory style’ room for 2-6 people (scratchy sheets and lumpy mattresses?). But after setting foot in the building I was kicking myself. Also, practical point – the whole thing finishes at 11pm, and it takes a while for everyone to file out. So if you live out of town, staying will save you the stress of missing your train. And if you’ve got money to burn, there’s also the Secret Restaurant, where you get a meal for £100 (includes ticket, three-course meal and wine). Cath Clarke
Book tickets now at secretcinema.org.