Not Brockley Central: Secret Cinema

Dearest Edna, I must leave you.  Why I cannot say.  Where I am going you cannot know.  How I will get there... I haven't decided yet.
- The Simpsons, Bart the Lover

Last night, Brockley Central went to Secret Cinema, an event which combines the cinema experience with immersive theatre: Think Punch Drunk meets the Electric Cinema.

The first rule of Secret Cinema is that you do not talk about Secret Cinema and both the movie and its location are off the record, on the QT and very hush-hush. But we will say that it is excellent. It's the sort of experience that makes a part of London you'd barely pay any attention to feel like a strange and exotic landscape, that makes you feel like a more interesting person than you actually are and makes watching a film you've always meant to see feel like catching up with an old friend. There were so many hints and visual clues planted, from the moment we bought our tickets, that it was less like going to the movies than it was like being the subject of a Derren Brown experiment.

Suffice it to say, if you are the sort of person who is personally affronted by the thought of paying £10 for a cinema experience in Telegraph Hill you will probably have an aneurysm at the very idea of paying so much for seats that don't even have cup holders. Everyone else will love it. 

25 comments:

Tamsin said...

Oh, be kind! "mp" on the other thread said he was exaggerating to be provocative. Something I can sympathise with.

Haven't actually managed to get to Cinetopia yet - maybe third time lucky.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, you need like button.. more interesting than you think you are, quality :)

mp said...

I dont see the point of this post. is SC happening in Brockley?

Brockley Nick said...

The point is it's an interesting thing that people might like. It is clearly labelled "Not Brockley Central" for those who are even more offended by reading something that is not immediately and directly relevant to their daily life even more than they are by having to pay a tenner to see a film in their local area.

I can't tell you whether it's in Brockley, it's a secret.

Anon in case I want to go said...

Did you get comps via the Blog/PR world or did you have to pay £35/£25?

Anonymous said...

This is a bit 2010, isn't it?

Brockley Nick said...

I was bought the tickets as a Christmas present from my wife.

Anonymous said...

if my wife had bought me, as an Xmas present, tickets to a cinema in hither green i would be in no doubt of the message she was giving me

Clare said...

Care to enlighten us Anonymous?

she likes suprises said...

You have a wife!?

Mr Breakspears said...

Anonymous: She didn't buy him tickets to a cinema in Hither Green...

Murray said...

Glad you enjoyed it. I went to one and it was awful. Turned up at Alexandra Palace to see a load of Oxbridge types blacked up as Arabs and then had to sit on the floor to watch Laurence of Arabia for four hours which I had unfortunately seen a few months previously. Outstanding film, but not to sit on a hard floor watching. Had to queue ages to get some food and drink thus missing a load of the film, then the acoustics were so bad could barely hear a thing so we left. It's a lot of money to pay to not know what you're getting.

Brockley Nick said...

@Murray - my experience was nowt like that, I am pleased to say.

Anonymous said...
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NXG_Resident said...

Although SC is great fun, tickets should be cheaper to make it more accessible for everyone.

Several of my friends have told me they would love to go, but cannot justify the price.

I think if they refine a few of the elements,(costumes, decorations etc.) they may be able to get costs down.

Anonymous said...

My friend went and enjoyed it, [Deleted] is an amazing film and the tunnels in [Deleted] sounded very atmospheric.

Anonymous said...

I went to it once and the cinema bit was freezing cold. As for the immersive experience; I wasn't quite prepared for how immersive it was! Absolutely everyone working on the day (out of a cast of hundreds) was constantly ON-character in a very unnerving way. Definitely go.

Mr Breakspears said...

NXG_Resident: "I think if they refine a few of the elements,(costumes, decorations etc.) they may be able to get costs down."

What would you suggest they do, and what do you mean by refine? When you consider the amazing locations they hire, the amazing sets they build and all of the detail - yeah, it will be expensive and tickets will be because of that...they don't have sponsors or any funding. I would rather pay for them to be able to make the effort.

AliAfro said...

I have been to 2: 1 great, 1 terrible:

The first was the best 'performance' I have ever been to: It was 'one flew over the cukoo's nest' set in a former mental asylum (or some other mental health type ward place). The building was partially dilapidated making things spooky and you could join in group therapy, pchyiatric testing or just wonder around the inmates rooms (which had maniac's scribblings on the wall) figuring out who were actors and who were punters (there was a dress code of pyjamas and dressing gowns). The signal for the film to begin was 'the sound of silence'... Drinks were served in paper medicine cups - the whole thing was about as immersive as you can get and what a great film...

The 2nd was 'The Red Shoes' viewed in some vaults in shadwell - the theatrics were ok but the film and setting spoiled it for me - The film is supposedly a technicolour classic and was apparently groundbreaking in that it is a film about a theatre production and incorporates a full 30mins of the play. Thing is I have never been a great theatre-goer and the viewing room was unheated (i.e. freezing) the girls in our party were going blue and the guys were falling asleep.

But dont let No.2 above put you off. When they get it right its a fantastic experience and a great way to view a classic film in an interesting and imeersive location...

RosieH said...

Been to this too. Involved being recruited by a gang in London Fields and an 80s disco plus Coney Island-style fairground. Good fun.

It is sponsored by Microsoft these days. Prices are high but the idea is it's more of an interactive theatre event than anything, and with these events consistently oversubscribed, there's both a market for it and, presumably, an acknowledgement that putting on such events is expensive.

Mr Breakspears said...

They aren't sponsored by anyone these days.

RosieH said...

Sorry, Mr Breakspears. I stand corrected

Anonymous said...

They don't need to be at their prices.

Mb said...

Or "the lack of sponsorship means they need to be"

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who works for SC, they are no longer funded because of the restraints a 'corporate company' puts on the event. They also have a tiny profit margin so if the tickets were cheaper the event would drop in quality.

Great night out though...

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