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.
Users say (9)
Average User Rating
3.6 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:0
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.
"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.