This is down to the amazing event organised by the Secret Group, an outdoor Romeo + Juliet event in historic Gunnersbury Park, which is part theatre, part cinema, part dance rave and involves a lot of people dressed in amazingly colourful outfits. You may have seen an increase of people on the tubes and buses with outrageous costumes, pink or blue hair, fabulous makeup and all looking like they are having the time of their lives.
Gunnersbury Park is currently filled with 22 separate structures including screens, tents and stages. There are 7 bars with bespoke Shakesperian cocktails and craft beers, and carefully curated street food vendors, all serving mouthwatering dishes. Everything is geared around Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet story about the rivalry between the Capulet and the Montague families. However, rather than being set in the 16th Century, this is an adaptation of the Baz Luhrmann directed film, starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio, set in 1996.
The Secret Cinema experience is widely becoming known as the Glastonbury for cinema-goers. Once a ticket is purchased you receive a log-in to a website with your character details, ideas for your outfit and your back-story. In this case, you get to know which of the rival gangs you belong to House Capulet or House Montague.
You then get to act out your part amongst thousands of other fun-seekers as you enter ‘Verona Beach’ in California (aka Gunnersbury Park). Amongst the audience is a large team of very talented performers from musical or theatre backgrounds, story-tellers, drag performers and even some swinging nuns. The casting is spot-on and is designed to instil a sense of ‘us against them’ so it encourages the participants to make new friends with their fellow housemates.
Thankfully the weather has been kind this Summer and perfect for an outdoor event, supposedly set in a hot climate. It would appear that this bohemian love-in has brought a new vibe to our Ealing area.