Live Review – Stranger Things by Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema is an organisation based around the concept of live, immersive theatre. They’ve previously tackled worlds such as Back To The Future, Romeo & Juliet and Casino Royale but this year, for the first time, they’ve taken it upon themselves to produce an experience based around the massive Netflix hit Stranger Things. 

My best friend and I are both major fans of the series so we booked tickets and a trip to the secret London location especially for this and I can safely say we weren’t disappointed. We received invitations to our high school reunion in Hawkins and a character to make our own and roleplay as during the event if we decided to do so. 

After many hours spent agonising over our perfect 80s themed outfits, we made it to the event where our phones were locked away for ultimate secrecy and immersion. Normally I’m wary of such an idea – I am part of Gen Z after all! – but in this case, it really did help us to live the experience and fully engage in the world that they had created. It was evident from the beginning how much work had gone into recreating Starcourt Mall from Season 3 of the show and all the locations were perfect to witness. 

Needless to say, the actors were also a tour de force! All of them looked so much like their show counterparts that we found ourselves oddly starstruck watching them mill about. We didn’t worry for long, and soon found ourselves being pulled into dancing with Eleven and Max or playing a quick game of Dungeons and Dragons with Will, Mike and Lucas, which was possibly a highlight for us both. 

As the event prides itself on its secrecy, I won’t mention too much about the finale of the night but the staging and choreography of the screening was something pretty special and certainly brought new dimensions to the show for me. At the end, as we all took part in the very conclusion of the screening, I even found myself oddly emotional at the prospect of saying goodbye to the Hawkins that Secret Cinema had created. For me, this was one of the best nights out I’ve had in a long time but I will say that it’s definitely an experience where you get back what you put in. Be flexible and proactive and engaging and it’s a lot more likely that you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of some of the most interesting plots of the show and truly immersed in such a faithful recreation of Hawkins, Indiana. 

Secret Cinema’s Stranger Things event runs until March 1 in London. 

[Rebecca Gault – she/her – @rebeccagault7]

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