I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe… unless you’ve already been to Secret Cinema presents ‘Blade Runner – The Final Cut: A Secret Live Experience’. The immersive movie event first did the sci-fi classic ‘Blade Runner’ in 2010, transforming an East End warehouse into futuristic LA complete with strippers and snakes (were they real? I think so). It was a blast, and since then they’ve grown much bigger, from the ambitious ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ to the impressive ‘Star Wars’. As with any evolving event, there have been teething problems – but with this ‘Blade Runner’, I reckon they’ve got sussed.
Before the event, I fill in an online empathy test to gain an identity. I try to fix it so I come out as a Replicant (cooler costumes) but I’m a detective in the Replicant Trafficking Division named Vicki Mallory, and must wear a mac and carry various items, including an umbrella. I figure Vicki must go undercover at some point so I cyber-punk it up, and it turns out I was right. When we arrive at the secret London location, our group of VIP ticket holders is briefed by a detective and lead into the heart of rebel land, where we must gather information to report to a police chief, who is a rather good actor, and also gives us whisky. This detective thing is getting better.
As ever with Secret Cinema, the clue’s in the name (even though they now reveal the film in advance), so I'll describe the rest of the experience in broad terms. The setting is exciting, evocative and loaded with detail, featuring numerous rooms and sideshows inspired by the futuristic design of Ridley Scott’s film. Bring that umbrella, especially if you’ve done your hair nicely. While VIP ticket holders may have more initial attention, there’s a great actor/punter ratio, so anyone should have the chance to chat to actors, who are well styled and briefed to fit into the BR universe. Even bar staff are in character and might give you ‘clues’ if you ask. All the public dress up brilliantly (though try not to be behind a Unicorn onesie in the loo queue, you might be there forever).
Once we sit down to the film, it’s beautifully screened with excellent sound and a lot of action around the screen – more than any Secret Cinema I’ve seen, so keep your eyes peeled. It’s a thrilling experience for a ‘Blade Runner’ fan: in this context, I noticed and appreciated things about the film I never had before. There’s a small party afterwards (bigger on a weekend), but I could have stayed all night.
All-in-all this is one of the best Secret Cinemas I’ve been to, and though everyone’s experience is different, there are three rules I always abide by. 1) Get there early. 2) Eat early. 3) FIND THE NIGHTCLUB.
So go, Secret Cinema fans – revel in your time.
'Secret Cinema presents Blade Runner - The Final Cut: A Secret Live Experience' runs until May 31, tickets from £45 plus booking fee