‘Seek happy nights to happy days,‘ said one William Shakespeare and, boy, does Secret Cinema guarantee one happy night with their adaptation of Baz Luhrmann‘s 1990s smash hit Romeo + Juliet.
Known for bringing the film alive for its fans, the Secret Cinema team have truly outdone themselves this summer, an impressive feat after their Blade Runner production earlier in the year. Whether you’re a lifelong Shakespeare/Luhrmann/DiCaprio fan, or were forced into liking all of the above whilst studying GCSE English Literature, it can’t be denied that Romeo + Juliet is a spectacular production – and now you can actually live it!
For those unaware, Luhrmann’s adaptation takes Shakepeare’s story from 14th century Italy to 1990s Mexico City, original translation of the text included. While the cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, Harold Perrineau et al) gun sling and race cars, all dialogue is taken straight from Shakespeare, no modernisation or simplification needed.
After booking tickets, attendees are asked to register online and are split into the two houses – Montague and Capulet. On arrival, you’re greeted by a throng of staff and security, all dressed head to toe in classic 90s garb, speaking ye olde English (I told you, it’s immersive). Once inside, Verona Beach is yours to adventure across, no matter your familial allegiance. From the Capulet mansion (be sure to bag yourself a ticket to the party inside) to Montague Mechanics (grab yourself a cocktail and pool cue), this is one festival you don’t want to miss out on.
As you wander the field, be sure to keep your eye out for the cast of characters, including Juliet in angel wings, greeting her Capulet cousins whilst searching for her Romeo. Dress in your house colours (as a Capulet Cat, I was in head-to-toe black and red) to show your allegiance. Explore Friar Laurence’s caravan. Watch the choir sing. Buy yourself dinner and ride the fairground. Whatever you do, expect the unexpected and make the most of your time at Verona Beach! Ending the night with a screening of the film itself, you’ll return to modern day feeling like you’ve experienced something very special.
Exciting, surprising and totally believable, Secret Cinema we salute you. This might just be the best one yet!
Secret Cinema Presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet runs from 8th to 25th August 2018. For more information visit secretcinema.org
Photos: Camilla Greenwell for Secret Cinema
Artwork (c) 1996 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.