Revisit the romance and energy of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet with Backyard Cinema
Twenty years ago, Australian film-maker Baz Luhrmann turned Shakespeare on his head with his movie adaptation of Romeo + Juliet. Set in the vivid and violent setting of ‘Verona Beach’, a very youthful Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes played the star-crossed lovers. Thanks to the photography, acting and soundtrack, the 1996 film soon became a cult classic.
To mark the film’s 20th anniversary, pop-up film club Backyard Cinema are hosting a very special screening of the movie, complete with a live choir, in the stunning Georgian church St Mary’s in Marylebone. Last week, I went along with a friend (who I was surprised to find out had never seen the film) to check out Backyard’s take on one of my favourite flicks.
Upon entering the darkly lit building, we were immediately drawn into the atmosphere with the church decorated Luhrmann-style, with neon crosses and a floral adorned altar – immediately making you think of the setting of Romeo and Juliet’s marriage and deaths [spoiler alert ;-)] in the movie. There are various ticket options available depending on seating and packages, but we had a VIP package of cosy seats, along with bubbly and snacks. Open for a couple of hours prior to the screening, the crypt downstairs is somewhat of a pop-up nightspot with a licensed bar and food vendors selling popcorn, ice cream and sweets with plenty of seating dotted around so you can have a chat and mingle before spending two hours in silence watching the film.
As someone who has watched the movie many times before, I loved watching it in this environment – it certainly beats my old sofa and DVD player. With the soundtrack being such an integral part of the film’s success, the Some Voices Choir really bring a whole new dimension to it. With seamless transition, the choir sang tracks such as Kissing You and Young Hearts Run Free during the pivotal moments, which really brought the tragedy and romance of the movie to life. For fans of the film, I highly recommend you get a ticket while you can as they’re selling out fast. And if you haven’t seen it at all, you’re in for a treat.
- Backyard Cinema are hosting screenings of Romeo + Juliet from now until July 2016 at St Mary’s Church, Wyndham Place, York Street, Marylebone, W1H 1PQ. Nearest station: Baker Street and Edgware Road. Tickets start from £20. For more information and tickets, visit the Backyard Cinema website.
For a guide to London’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.
For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.