It’s been nearly two years since I experienced the last major Secret Cinema production, having passed on Moulin Rouge, so when the news broke of Blade Runner I was on tender hooks!
Having vacated the familiar surroundings of the Printworks at Canada Water, the scale is understandably smaller and for the problems that I do have, the production design utilises the space exceptionally well. You’re fully immersed into the world of downtown LA with neon signs plastering the skyline.
Your personal journey can take many routes, mine being a Utopian Ambassador. Although pre-selected, we managed to have a taster of the other lives, with the LAPD officer seemingly being the most engaging. Costumes are a must, but for items the only things you need and get to use are the umbrellas/raincoats and identity papers, don’t waste time on other things. Also, there is a shop inside the venue selling the essentials so don’t fret.
So, onto the pricing. There’s three tiers and here’s where my main issue with this production lays, if you choose the lowest option (Sat: £84 + booking fee) you get a much lesser experience compared to the standard (Sat: £94 + booking fee) and VIP (Sat: £175 + booking fee). The lowest tier are segregated into a theatre next door with a smaller screen and less live-action elements, while on the other side of the curtain the remaining tiers get a full-on showing.
For a company that seemingly prides itself promoting positive movements and ideals, it’s literally diminishing the experience for lowest tier for no apparent reason. The logistics of separating the audience is more work. This is on top of Secret Cinema having zero discounted pricing/schemes for students, low income households, OAPs, emergency services or armed forces. The whole thing just seems slightly hypocritical, I’m sure there’s a much more in depth feature that could be written about this ironic contrast in messaging.
Normally I’ll visit the worlds several times throughout their run but this time I’m done. While it’s not bad, it’s certainly a step in the wrong direction for a production company that has constantly delivered over the past decade.
Secret Cinema Presents Blade Runner is playing on select dates until June.