Neil Frame 18/04/23
Backyard Cinema’s Romeo + Juliet | An Iconic Film, With A Live Gospel Choir
Backyard Cinema’s screenings of Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 classic Romeo + Juliet, complete with performances of the soundtrack by a live gospel choir, has been entertaining star-crossed film lovers for the past seven years (excepting the brief hiatus because of that plague upon everyone’s houses). And it’s been so popular, there hasn’t been a single year that it hasn’t sold out completely.
So it’s probably pretty good news that it’s now coming to the quite literally palatial grounds of Alexandra Palace for a week of screenings next month.
Thankfully the non-existent pitfalls here mean that as soon as you take your seat – and just before you’re treated to the mellifluous vocals of the 12-strong ‘Some Voices’ choir and a mini-orchestra with bass, sax and violin – you’ll feel content in the knowledge that the film which awaits you helped a generation to appreciate Shakespeare; cemented Leonardo DiCaprio’s reputation as the ultimate ‘90s heartthrob; and gave the world ‘Talk Show Host’ by Radiohead.
“Two households, both alike in dignity/ In Fair Verona where we lay our scene/ From ancient grudge break to new mutiny/ Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.”
So yes, these opening lines pretty much give the entire plot away HOWEVER with cinema it’s the experience that counts. So it’s just as well that the experience here includes a whole new reimagining of the show to fit the stage, with blue neon crosses ripped straight out of the film’s denouement; candlelight; and, importantly, a bar. Meaning that not only can you watch Carrie from Homeland flirt in Shakespearean through a fish tank… you can also have a drink.
Romeo: I dreamt a dream tonight.
Mercutio: And so did I.
Romeo: Well, what was yours?
Mercutio: That I could watch a film about myself. With a choir.
NOTE: Backyard Cinema’s Romeo + Juliet takes in Alexandra Palace between 30th May – 4th June. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased HERE.
Alexandra Palace | Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY
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Alexandra Palace, Wood Green, N22 7AY
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