Saturday was a rather exciting day for me. Me and Bobby had booked tickets for Future Cinema‘s showing of Bugsy Malone. The concept behind this is amazingly simple, you watch the film, but the people organising it will bring it to life around you. It leads to a truly unique experience. Still not sure what I mean? This YouTube clip might help.
Of course this meant it was a great excuse to dress up and play with new make up and hair, though I was quite impressed with the result. The only problem was that I ended up doing my hair really early as I wasn’t sure how long it would take and it then didn’t quite last the evening. It had mostly fallen out by the time we all started dancing at the end, but I was quite impressed with it. Especially as it was a first attempt as I hadn’t really had a chance to practice.
We got to the venue early, just as the matinee was kicking out in fact, to make sure we knew where it was and to check what time they were opening the doors to make sure we got a good seat then headed off to find a nice pub to have a drink and some food. We ended up in the Railway Tavern by Limehouse station which as nice enough and we could watch all the people from the afternoon going past, it was nice that so many people had dressed up. It really put us in a good mood for the evening. Then we jumped on the DLR up to Tower Gateway as that was where the nearest pub that I knew did food was located. We did attract some interesting looks wandering round and were snapped by at least two curious tourists but on the whole it was nice to just go for a wander.
We headed back to Limehouse relatively early to make sure we would be back in plenty of time and went back to the Railway Tavern as I needed the loo. We weren’t the only people in there this time. There were a few other people similarly dressed and I started to get rather excited. We didn’t stay there long before heading back up to the Troxy where we were informed that we were rather early, well yes, we did know that, and we actually wanted to go down the side of the building and use the entrance round there. Having established where we were meant to be and not particularly wanting to hang round a dodgy bit of London when none else was there yet we went to the pub across the road for a quick one while we waited.
When we came back the whole area had been transformed. There was a bit of a queue now and there were actors going up and down the line and interacting with the public. We were ‘interviewed’ by a reporter for the New York Times about what we thought about the recent splurge attacks, had several people comment on our outfits, favourite one has to be the guy who asked if my borrowed fur coat was dalmatian and how many dawgs went into it.
Then we got inside the Speakeasy. They had really gone to town with recreating it, after going down a corridor you came to a large bookcase where you had to present a book to go through (there was a pile you could help yourself to for those of us who didn’t bring our own). Then when you got through it was like really being in Fat Sam’s. We found a table and I made myself comfortable while Bobby went to the bar. There was still lots to see inside, Fat Sam came over to ask us if we had seen Bugsy, then the man himself came over to ask why I never called him. Hadn’t I enjoyed it when he took me out for meatballs last week? That was a first for me, being chatted up by a famous gangster!
Before long the entertainment started. Fat Sam compered as a number of cabaret acts took to the stage, our favourite has to be the pair of dancing girls who called themselves The Bee’s Knees. This did also follow the plot of the film with loads of interaction all the way through. Tallulah came out among the tables for her number. The audience were encouraged to audition as dancers in the club, the job of course being given to Blousey. Lena Marelli burst in at one point, a role I will always remember as having been played by my sister in her school production. We even cheered on Leroy as he began his career as a boxer.
Then the film started. There was a great atmosphere in the place by now. Everyone seemed to be having a really great time and cheering and singing along were actively encouraged. Although the interaction was greatly reduced it didn’t stop once the film started, though was mostly limited to people coming through as appropriate. I couldn’t help laughing when they finished singing Bad Guys danced into the SpeakEasy and through the tables. Then of course there was the custard pie fight at the end. They passed out cans of foam and paper plates then paused the film so people could make up some pies and put on the plastic ponchos they had provided. Then all hell broke loose. I don’t think anyone was still watching the film at this point as pies went flying in every direction and gangsters burst in with splurge guns and started spraying everyone in sight. The fighting stopped when the final song started for which everyone joined in and several people, us included, ended up dancing on the stage to. After that it just became a great party venue, the tables were pushed back and everyone started dancing and generally having a great time. I think we both would have liked to have stayed later but it was very warm in there and I had started to get a mammoth headache so we decided to call it a night and head off.
Overall we had a great time. so good in fact that we have booked to go again during my Easter holidays, and this time we intend to stay until the end! Unfortunately neither of us took a camera with us, probably a good thing as we didn’t want to risk it getting, Splurged/stolen/broken, but Future Cinema’s Flickr can be foundhere.