January 16th, 2012

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Secret Cinema

Photo credit: http://celluloidheroesradio.com/2011/04/secretcinema/

Tonight I went to Secret Cinema.

So what is Secret Cinema?
Secret Cinema is a "gathering of all that love challenging and groundbreaking cinema, screening mystery films in extraordinary locations". The idea is that the audience does not know the location or the name of the film that is being screened in advance. It takes place in unusual venues that can range from a 5 star hotel car park to a London graveyard. The whole event will be themed around the film and can include sets and actors improvising to recreate the film’s plotline.

For more information follow the link:

Raks's Review

I am going to talk about this without giving anything away.

Secret Cinema is going from strength to strength. It is getting bigger, better and more ambitious, and upping the ante each time. Tonight, I did not know the film and, having watched it, I did not much care for the film, but the whole experience was brilliant.

Leading up to the actual event, there are lots of clues and hints and ways to get involved, through Facebook, Twitter and other social networking media platforms. It is entirely up to you how much you choose to steep yourself in the experience leading up to the day itself or if you prefer to leave it as a surprise. I love the fact that if you really want to immerse yourself in it, there are so many games to play, and puzzles to solve, and things to do, leading up to the day itself.

The attention to detail that is now going into recreating the set is phenomenal. The actors are excellent, and they look and sound like the characters they are portraying. As well as the key characters, there are a host of extras taking part to really recreate the setting and the atmosphere of the film. I love the way the participants (ie the audience) really get into the spirit of the event and make a big effort to dress the part so that they are in keeping with the theme and blend into the film set. I love all the improvisations that happen and, again, the way the participants enter into the spirit by being willing to engage with the actors and everyone else at the event. The amount of scenes that they recreate is growing each time. I am always amazed by how they manage to choreograph everything so well so that most participants get to see the majority, although not all, of the action. Each participant has a unique experience because your experience is entirely based on where you go on the set, and who you interact with - actors and other participants - and how. I had great fun following the British army officers around, and being interviewed, and shouted at, and taking part in raids - yes I am a sucker for a British officer in uniform! But it is highly likely that my experience was completely different from someone else's. It is up to you to choose where you want to go, and which characters you want to follow, and who you interact with and how. It is a totally immersive experience. It is expensive and not at all cheap, but I am still recommending it because it is unique, and exciting, and innovative, and fun.

Highly recommended.

Secret Cinema January 2012 is now sold out. However, Secret Cinema events are held every 2-3 months so check their website regularly for details of upcoming events and register to receive their monthly email and details of the next Secret Cinema event.

I have also talked about Secret Cinema here:
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Thank you to The Sherlock Holmes Society of London

Steven Moffat sandwiched between Benedict as Sherlock (left) and Matt as the Doctor (right)

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London is one of the world's longest established and leading Sherlock Holmes appreciation societies. It is also special because Sherlock Holmes was a consulting detective based in London (before anyone says anything, I am well aware that he is a fictional character and not a real person!).

You may recall that I did a write-up of Steven Moffat's speech at the Society's Annual Dinner which took place on Saturday 7 January 2012. The Society have now been kind enough to include my write-up on their website. That is a privilege and an honour and I am humbled. Thank you to The Sherlock Holmes Society of London!

The write-up is promoted on the home page of their website here, in the Sherlock Holmes Society of London News section:

And the full write-up can be found here: