‘ Pay Close Attention Bond ‘ A Trip into a World of Exquisite Espionage with Secret Cinema : Casino Royale
It’s a balmy Thursday evening and myself and my secret agent companion find ourselves on a mission, venturing out of central London to an undisclosed secret location which we’re told is home to tonight to Secret Cinema’s long-anticipated latest event – Secret Cinema : Casino Royale.
Following in the footsteps of last year’s astonishingly good Blade Runner shows, it’s no surprise that expectations are at an all-time high with Secret Cinema’s latest world. So as soon as SC announced a Bond theme with Casino Royale, fans were on tenterhooks as to what they could expect. Primarily with the sun-drenched shores of Montenegro the primary location of the film we pondered just how the team intended to pull off a convincing immersive theme based somewhere within one of the world’s busiest cities in a large warehouse.
What awaited though has to be the most impressive Secret Cinema event to date…
Prior to arrival, we’d already been assigned secret identities, a dress code and a rendezvous point. All of these relatively minor points were presented in a brilliantly convincing secret agent styling with authentically clandestine videos giving us clues and tips as to who or what we should be expecting. If you’re stuck on costumes then SC have this covered too offering an online shop where you can purchase costumes and accessories tailor-made for your assigned character.
It’s fair to say by the time we actually arrive at the grand gates of the Casino we were more than ready to venture into a world of espionage and spies.
In all truth any other immersive live event company could have lazily recreted Casino Royale via simply hiring a few poker tables and playing some Bond soundtracks to the crowd. This was never going to be the case with Secret Cinema and to say they’ve gone all out this year would be a huge understatement. As trailblazers in the field of immersive cinema Secret Cinema were clearly never going to take the easy route and instead what awaits you is a truly believable world with incredible depth.
As with every other Secret Cinema event the attention to detail is breathtaking. Within moments of stepping through the doors you’re thrown into another world. Expect to globetrot through the many locations of the film’s narrative including hustling airport terminals and the swarthy backstreets of Montenegro. What really brings the event alive is the immersive aspect of the event with a huge variety of actors and potential interactions on offer for you to get involved with. Exploring and interacting within this world really brings this whole experience alive.
As with every Secret Cinema it really is a case of ‘the more you put in the more you get out.’ Whilst you could easily just wander around, having a drink and a bite to eat prior to the film, you’ll find that you get the most from your experience by jumping in headfirst and becoming part of this rich world. Compared to previous outings there’s an insane amount of immersive theatre to get involved with. We very quickly found ourselves interrogating contacts and being led into the dark underbelly of international espionage in the hope of finding out an elusive contact. All of which led to some incredible set pieces which really did take our breath away.
We were also impressed with the sheer variety of food and drink on offer. Considering you’re effectively a trapped audience within the event, Secret Cinema haven’t overpriced their refreshments which are priced incredibly fairly. There’s also several enticing areas for VIP ‘gold pass’ members who are able to venture into otherwise blocked areas. Not to mention enjoying the film in a whole other level of indulgence. It’s worth paying to be part of the ‘elite’ group.
But amidst the immersive theater, it’s easy to forget the most important experience of all – watching the film. There was no question the audience were going to be on the edge of the seats seeing how Secret Cinema would pull this off but this year, in particular, the team have created a truly unique and mesmerising way to watch Bond. As with SC’s other events, certain key scenes are recreated by actors, adding to the sheer depth of the cinematic experience. But there are also some additional touches which truly do blow you away when you experience them live. You can of course still venture out and expeirence the SC world whilst the film plays, but then what could be better than being sat watching a Bond film with a cold Martini in your hand (shaken of course).
This year we were ready for something special with Secret Cinema Casino Royale, but I don’t think we could have been more blown away with the sheer attention to detail to this year’s production. The attention to detail is staggering, and you’ll find yourself stumbling onto a constant array of new sights and attractions with every corner you take. Undoubtedly we missed some key moments just as there was so much going on, but if anything that’s just even more reason to return for a second visit.
If you’re a Bond fan, or just a fan of phenomenal productions in general – this is a must. Get your tickets here
Photos – © Secret Cinema presents Casino Royale – Luke Dyson