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Rocky Horror screening + Richard O'Brien - Dulwich Park, London
Saturday 7th August 2010
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We're on the A21 heading towards Dulwich Park in London's SE21, it's a Saturday night in 2010 and the heavens open. Very suitable weather for Rocky Horror, but not so good for sitting in the open air to watch the movie. As we reach Bromley, the skies clear instantly and there's a rainbow in the rear view mirror. As we near Dulwich Park this is looking like it'll be a dry night after all and apart from a few seconds of drizzle it is.
Just as well as The Rocky Horror Picture Show is screening in the open air on a huge inflatable screen in the middle of the Park. Organised by the Screen on the Green, this is the first movie in their outdoor season for 2010. Better still, they have Richard O'Brien himself at the screening to take park in a quick interview and sing a song or three to the audience. Richard himself brings along his own warm-up act to add to the evening and to top it off, local community choir "Note-Orious" were also there to perform some of the songs from the film.
This is the first time we'd been along to a screening in the park and it proved to be great fun. Everyone brings along their own blankets or chairs and many folks turned up with picnic tables and food and drink. The organisers also had popcorn and drinks to sell as well as a brilliant hot food tent. Toilets were nearby and the ushers were very helpful in directing everyone to the screening area. There is a break in the middle of the movie to give people a chance to get more food and drink which on this occasion we didn't even mind that too much.As it neared 8pm, George from the company introduced the first of the evenings entertainment, local community choir, Note-Orious, who sang us a few of the Rocky songs accompanied by a single keyboard player. They put a lot of effort into their performance and most of them dressed up in 'Rocky' style costume.
After that we were expecting Richard O'Brien to come out to sing a few songs, but Richard had brought along a little surprise of his own. He had acted as the warm-up for "The Frantastics" and the favour was being returned by Frances from the group. So we were treated to a few songs which went down very well with the audience.
Richard himself then came out to the microphone for a quick question and answer session with George and then sang us a few songs with his trusty guitar (breaking a string in the process, but carrying on nonetheless).
The film itself was high-definition video-projected onto the screen and the sound system was one of the best we've heard and that includes many purpose built cinemas! There was a slight technical glitch (looked like a video feed lead became disconnected), but that didn't spoil the movie and they even stepped back a little to keep the continuity. I've seen this movie so many times over the past twenty five years that I couldn't help notice that the image was stretched a little to fit the format of the screen, Riff looked thinner than ever! It wasn't too noticeable though and didn't take anything away from the fun of watching the movie in the park.
It really was a fun experience, as it grew darker and darker we were watching our favourite movie under the stars. Even the odd aircraft passing overhead added to the feeling of seeing the movie in a unique setting.
There were a few fans dressed up in costume and a few shout-backs to the movie appeared every now and then. We'd decided to wear something a little more comfortable than our usual costumes as we didn't quite know to expect, opting for Rocky tee-shirts, but our kids dressed up, putting us to shame in the process. I think next time I'll wear the spacesuit! It looked like everyone had a great time and as we headed back to the car we decided this would be something we would come to again, but next time we'd bring some bigger torches!
A big thank you to Screen on the Green for choosing The Rocky Horror Picture Show for their screening. Other movies for the 2010 season are "The Graduate" - Saturday 14th August. "Shawshank Redemption" - Sunday 22nd August. "Borat" - Saturday 28th August (with a special video introduction from Borat's love, Pamela Anderson! ) and "Ghostbusters" - Sunday 5th September (with the London Ghostbusters attending!)
Reviewed by TimeWarpWebmaster Sunday, August 8th, 2010
Images from the evening taken by Dave, Steph and Illya on one of our snapshot cameras.
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