Yesterday the capital enjoyed a perfect, summer’s evening and thousands of Londoners (and those who travelled from much further afield, no doubt) dressed up in their 1960’s finest garb and descended upon a secret outdoor location in London in their droves. Armed with beach balls, hula hoops and yes, watermelons, a crowd which I can only estimate was around 85% female got their glad rags on to experience the latest edition of the immersive theatrical/cinematic productions brought to us by Secret Cinema. This time, the whole event revolves around perhaps the ultimate of all ‘chick-flicks’… Dirty Dancing.
As always, I am constrained to what I can reveal in this review and will respectfully abide by the rules of the company. However, I don’t think it’s really a spoiler to warn guests they should be prepared to do a lot of… well, dancing… naturally! The location is about a 20-25 minute walk from the nearest tube station and patrons should plan their transport home in advance. (With it being a Sunday night, I just managed to catch the last trains back home.) Also – bring sun cream, and a blanket or cushions to sit on.
My other tip would be to be constantly on the move within the location, before the movie itself begins. If you remain in one place, you are most likely to miss iconic scenes from the film being played out by live actors and dancers, as these occur in various, different spots around the venue. The more you are prepared to investigate and explore, the more you will get out of your Secret Cinema experience. Simples.
The attention to detail - everything from the naming of the drinks on offer to the logos on the large umbrellas – is as always astounding and is a testament to how much time and effort the company pours into making this immersive world a genuine replica for fanatics of the film.
Another aspect of these events is the camaraderie between human beings who share a particular love for something – in this case, a movie. You feel part of a celebration that whoops in unison after every iconic line uttered by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey or lets out a pantomime-style boo when the film’s ‘antagonist’ Robbie (Max Cantor) is up to his misogynist tricks. When thousands of people feel united in this way, you can’t help but think this is what life should be about – connecting with other people, albeit for a brief evening of entertainment. And if it takes a gushingly romantic film from 1987 to set this in motion, then hey, I’m all for it.
There are three more presentations to come – 22nd, 23rd and 24th July – and I can only urge you to make the most of the summer and book yourselves a cabin at Kellerman’s! Gentlemen beware – you’re going to feel somewhat outnumbered if you attend. But that may not be such a bad thing either – you may just end up having the “Time of Your Life”!