Backyard Cinema: Romeo and Juliet

Things to do, Film events
4 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
Backyard Cinema: Romeo and Juliet

Time Out says

Backyard Cinema returns in 2017 for another pop-up screening of Baz Luhrmann's iconic 'Romeo + Juliet'. Once again, Backyard is teaming up with a choir for the occasion and the film will be screened in a candle-lit church, inspired by the final scenes played out in the movie by Clare and Leo. The choir will be providing an epic live soundtrack throughout the film, so sit back and soak up the atmosphere of the magnificent St Mary's Church in Marylebone. Tickets are £28, which includes a bag of popcorn (further drinks and snacks will be available from the bar), and can be purchased from the Time Out Shop at the above link.

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Users say (9)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|9
2 people listening

This really isnt the performance I was expecting. I the organisers may have changed the format of the show and the ads haven't been altered to reflect this. Essentially you get a few songs performed by the choir (who are great in fairness) at the very beginning, then you watch the whole film as if you were at the cinema, with no choir performance over the top.


The seats are uncomfortable, so to be honest this is actually not even as good as being at the cinema. Then the choir comes back on for one last song at the end. I really think the organisers need to make it more clear that this is how the show is set out, as the promotional video for this doesnt reflect what happens. A lot of people were saying the same thing as we walked out too. I wouldnt say its worth £30 a ticket.


I dont normally leave negative reviews on here but I dont want anyone else to be disappointed like we were.


I am a huge fan of the movie and the music, was really looking forward to it. However, i think my expectations were different than what the event actually was. I thought the choir would sing along with the movie. This wasn't the case, the choir sang a couple of songs, then the movie played and they came back to sing one more. 

Though the setting was beautiful, the idea of watching this in a church is great in theory, terrible in practice - sitting in a pew for over 2 hours was not comfortable at all. 


Fine, and the choir were in great voice, but the projector cut out briefly mid-way through the film and in the final choir singing at the end the sound dropped out. All felt a bit shonky for a £30 experience.

Tastemaker

This was a really amazing experience and I would defiantly recommend going if they decide to run this for a third time! 

It is set in a beautiful church in Marylebone, which I would have never knew existed if it were not for this. 


I would recommend getting there early - I got there when the doors opened at 6:30 and had full choice of any seat in the house (plus a nice period of time experiencing the church with no one inside. 


While you wait, pop downstairs where they have a bar and snacks, as well as plenty of sofas and chairs, I grabbed a bottle of red wine and hung out down there (with our coats saving our seats) until the film started an hour later.


Before the film the choir comes out and sings a selection of what seems like all the most memorable songs from the movie. In between the songs they have a speaker dressed as a priest come and do some of the most well known lines. 


Then you get to watch the movie, as ever its a great viewing for both myself having seen it multiple times before and for my girlfriend who somehow had never seen it before?! But she loved the whole experience too so its not just for fans of the film.

Finally after the movie ends the choir comes back out and does an amazing rendition of When Doves Cry which after you leave will be ringing in your ears for the rest of the night. 

It was a really great experience! 


"Our absolute favourite film of all time, in a church, WITH A LIVE CHOIR!" read the text. My jaw dropped. Could this be the greatest idea in living history? Why YES, I thought! So my friend and I booked the tickets immediately, and she excitedly organised her train ticket down from Leeds to spend the weekend with me in London. 


On arriving at St Mary's church, we were like 5 year olds walking into Hamleys. It was set up beautifully - with neon crosses, imitation candles everywhere and the very competent staff all dressed in the classic Hawaiian shirts made famous by Leo et al. Downstairs a fabulous bar area had been installed complete with on-trend giant carnival signage, a decent range of drinks and fancy pick-n-mix. As we headed back upstairs, took our seats on the sofas and watched the choir walk in, I really thought I might cry.


Unfortunately, following my initial elation, I was rather disappointed when the film started and I realised that the sound quality wasn't great. "Ah well" I thought, "the live choir will make up for it."


The live choir did not make up for the poor sound levels. The live choir added to the misery. 


Baz Lurhman's version of Romeo & Juliet is almost as famous for its incredible soundtrack as it is for its cinematic perfection. A shame, then, that Backyard have settled on a small, mediocre amateur choir with a combined below-average range. Rather than sing along to the film and add to its glory, the movie is paused so that the choir can sing their chosen few 'hits' before it is resumed and they wander off. Rather than stay and appear part of something magnificent, they walk on and off the stage and down the sides of the church which is in equal parts disappointing and distracting.  We felt that the few songs they chose to partake in were likely the easiest to sing, and unfortunately they didn't exactly do a great job. The girl who sang "Everybody's free" [which, 99% of the queue had cited as their reason for coming] was just ok and didn't manage some of more challenging notes. That in itself was enough to ruin it for me.


At the end of the film when [SPOILER ALERT] both characters tragically die beautifully draped over one another and all members of the audience are about to wipe away a tear, rather than leaving us in the purposeful moment's silence which the movie offers, we are treated to a ridiculous rendition of Radiohead's 'Creep' instead. WHY? Who knows.


Considering this song shows the choir at its absolute best, we guess that they have likely included it because they don't wish to waste the hours of rehearsals obviously spent on it. But why now? "I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo" Umm, hang on, haven't we just witnessed arguably the purest characters in Shakespearian history? And as for swearing in a church, neither me nor my friend are religious but it was just uncalled for and a bit embarrassing.


In conclusion - this really was the best idea, but unfortunately it just wasn't executed well enough.



Tastemaker

"What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?" asks Juliet. A lot Juliet, a lot if you're at Backyard cinema in Marylebone. Baz Luhrman's Romeo & Juliet was so impactful on my teenage years that film posters of Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes' balcony scene filled my college room walls. I bought the original soundtrack plus the extended second version (you know with all the instrumental bits and lines from key scenes) so I pretty much know all the words off by heart. Twenty years on (sigh) we're all older and wiser so to see this film again so many years later in an atmospheric setting was a true delight. The detail of the cinema was on point - bibles and candles on the way in, staff wearing bright Hawaiian shirts, neon crosses down the aisle of the church, plus the church's imposing stained glass window behind the screen and candle lit bed in front of the alter really captured those final scenes of the film. The bar was perfectly set up for pre-drinks and we were served so quickly with G&Ts and snacks. We were sat in deckchairs on the ground floor and I had goosebumps before the film even started as the choir were so good. The film is an absolute cult classic, bringing Shakespeare's words to life in a new modern setting and it moves at a fast pace with the choir weaving into the key moments adding even more drama. My favourite songs were Kissing You from the famous 'falling in love across a fish tank moment' and the wedding song Everybody's Free which were so emotive they fit the scenes perfectly. An absolute gem, Leo and Claire, and indeed Shakespeare would be proud. But just be warned, tis not a happy ending. 'For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.'

Tastemaker

To hear your favourite soundtrack live with your favourite teenage heart throb is the best way to spend a Saturday. We sat on the balcony but made sure we got there with enough time to pick the front row (and it had a great shelf for our snacks and coffee). 

Backyard Cinema really gave us a great experience, allowing us to be enveloped into the movie by having a live choir. The crowd really livened up with the choir with a few whoops and cheers. They really added a point of difference but I was hoping the choir would sing most of the soundtrack. Unfortunately they only sung 4 songs plus an additional song that wasn't from the movie, and was quite confronting. 

I've never been to a Backyard Cinema event and I would definitely go to more, it's a great way to see an old time fav. 

Tastemaker

This was my first time at a Backyard cinema event and it was absolutely amazing!

The church theme was recreated so beautifully and the addition of a live choir really brought the emotions to some of the songs within the movie.  There were drinks and snacks available (including Espresso martinis!) but they were on the pricier side.

We had reserved seats, but otherwise it is free seating and I would suggest getting there early to get the best ones.  I'm not sure what the view would have been like from the balcony, so choose carefully with those seats.  Also, there are a mixture of couches and deck chairs (with deck chairs also being the most expensive tier of seating) but the couches were just fine.  We were somewhere near the middle and it was perfect, no problems at all because the projection screen is quite high up.

Tastemaker

I've been to Backyard Cinema a couple of times and so really looked forward to this event; with its quirky settings and beautiful church surroundings. Plus the added bonus of a choir. The whole church was kitted out in deck chairs and sofas, luckily we got a sofa which was super comfy! Beforehand, you get the chance to buy snacks and drinks however, I would suggest maybe bring something of your own it was really quite pricey.

Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet is a classic, so you can't go wrong. It was a really nice touch chiming in with a number of songs which suited the mood at that point perfectly.

One thing I disliked was one of the songs included the f-word which they sang repeatedly throughout the song and made me really uncomfortable (given the fact we were sitting inside this beautiful church.) St Mary's Church is beautiful by the way, stained glass windows, balconies and just wonderful.

Well done Backyard Cinema & Time Out London on another great movie screening.

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