Fantastical Immersion: Secret Cinema's Blade Runner
What do acid rain and androids from the 80s have in common? Ask any sci-fi film fan and you'll hear two words: Blade Runner. Thanks to Secret Cinema, Blade Runner is now more than a film, instead it's an immersive experience and you can enter this bizarre dystopian world.
The format feels smaller and more intimate than other Secret Cinema productions. There's extensive opportunities for interactivity as you can choose to head on a wild goose chase to find and deliver goods like vials of liquid blood to certain persons. Compared to previous shows there's an emphasis on this unique aspect of 'mission' which Secret Cinema delivers expertly, giving greater purpose to your visit to the world.
The laissez-faire nature of the evening also affords great flexibility and autonomy via self-directed exploration. For those who want things to come to them, the VIP package confers additional perks like food and drink (and table service during the film viewing), better seating, a private area and additional immersion opportunities particularly at the get-go.
Secret Cinema's mastery over elements of anticipation can be found in numerous places and artistic choices made. Information is fed to you at lightning speeds and if you are unfamiliar with the storyline and characters, well good luck then, because you will be expected to comply and act accordingly to specific directions immediately.
Memories in the form of photographs are traded for entrance into certain areas and there always seem to be something interesting or unexpected behind a unsuspecting door or curtain. The flip side of all this is the element of frustration that there is much more to explore than one could possibly have time for.
On a less positive note the space from which the film is viewed is longer in shape than ideal, meaning most of the trademark mimicking of on-film action gets lost and makes the viewing much less exciting. In addition there's a few moments of detachment as not all guests are at the same level of immersion commitment, though the guest costumes in terms of effort are extraordinary.
Still, with so much dedication to the source material, it's no wonder they are sold out until at least sometime in July. This show does more justice to the film franchise than the recent Blade Runner 2049 and is not to be missed for those who love the broody franchise.
Secret Cinema Presents Blade Runner, £45-£115, until 7 July
Last Updated 08 May 2018