Neil Frame 11/01/23

Backyard Cinema’s Romeo + Juliet

Backyard Cinema’s Romeo + Juliet | An Iconic Film, With A Live Gospel Choir

Behold a short list of facts:

1) Backyard Cinema – which has on previous occasions hosted weekend-long, booze-soaked film festivals, and immersive horror movie screenings starring face-eating zombies – is back after a three year hiatus because of that plague upon everyone’s houses.

2) This time it’s showing Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 classic Romeo + Juliet, bookended by performances of the soundtrack by a live choir. Which has sold out for the last six years they’ve screened it.

And now behold a list of everything we don’t like about those facts:



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.

Backyard Cinema Romeo + juliet

“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 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 next takes place on 14th February 2023 (hmm, sounds like the perfect Valentine’s Day date idea…). Please note this screening will be at the Barbican Centre, rather than its usual church setting at Union Chapel. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased HERE.

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Carpe Diem!

Backyard Cinema’s Romeo + Juliet

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, Barbican, EC2Y 8DS
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