In fair Verona, where we lay our scene… A pair of starcross’d lovers take their life.
These are the words you see as you first walk down the candlelit aisles of St Mary’s Church in Marylebone. They’re projected onto a screen above the front altar and looking down over the rows of sofas and deck chairs where the congregation would usually be sat. It’s an unusual setting for a film screening, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Backyard Cinema.
The inside of St Mary’s Church is beautifully decorated to resemble the church in the final tragic scene of the 1996 film adaption of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Large blue crosses line the sides, and the front altar is covered in flowers, candles and photographs of Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as Romeo and Juliet. The perfect setting for an airing of this iconic modern readdaption.
There are several options for seating, depending on what you fancy and how much you’re willing to spend. In the front are the iconic Backyard Cinema deck chairs, which then lead into communal sofas and finally the pews towards the back of the church. The relatively small size of the church means that all the seats have a good view of the screen. There is also a downstairs bar where you can pick up drinks (yes, including alcoholic), popcorn and other movie snacks before the entertainment begins.
Now, this is the part where it really gets good. Before and after the film, the Same Voices choir float down the central aisle and onto the front altar, candles in hand, to perform live versions of the movie soundtrack. If the tragic tale of two starcross’d lovers isn’t enough to get your emotions going, their chillingly beautiful rendition of When Doves Cry will certainly send shivers down your spine.
Why you need to go:
Backyard Cinema’s Romeo and Juliet is a truly unique film experience. The church setting, beautiful decor and live choir create an immersive experience that you certainly wouldn’t get elsewhere. Fans of Shakespeare’s iconic play, or simply those looking for a romantic evening to impress that special someone, will love what Backyard Cinema have created in this quiet little Church just minutes from Baker Street.
Watch the official trailer for Backyard Cinema’s Romeo and Juliet…
The next screenings run from September 12th-16th. Tickets are sold out but you can join the waiting list by clicking here.
*Thank you HYPE App for organising this experience for us.