This weekend, I went to 'Edible Cinema' to see the 1996 version of 'Romeo and Juliet' starring Leonardo DiCaprio; this was a film I watched with my friend from High School in the year that we graduated and then went on to the same university. Choosing to show this film is possibly in respect to Shakespeare as he would have been 450 years old and was born around the end of April. 'Edible Cinema' is a pop-up cinema that uses the senses of taste, texture and smell to enjoy a new dimension to film-watching. They do not show films too often, so I jumped at the chance to make my booking as they often sell out.
Romeo and Juliet at Edible Cinema
This time, the venue for the film-showing was at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly. Some of the seats had plaques on the backs of them, which I assume were related to donations. I sat behind one that was Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
When we arrived, we were directed to the bar where we were told to select from one of two cocktail drinks: Capulet or Montague. The event is sponsored by the brand of gin 'Bombay Sapphire', so all of the cocktails contained this ingredient. We choose one of each type of cocktail, and it looked like all of the other couples did as well. According to Edible Cinema's Facebook page, the cocktails "differ in taste but, which at heart, are the same...".
Montague and Capulet cocktails
We drank our drinks, and before long, we were asked to go into the cinema to take our seats. On the way in, we were given our mystery boxes of food to enjoy during various points of the film. (I had the vegetarian box, which just replaced any meat items with non-meat items as I was not sure what I'd receive otherwise due to being extremely picky about my food.)
We received eight mystery boxes in a tray, which also included the menu and a napkin. We were told that at various points throughout the film, a number would be projected onto the cinema walls and on a television screen just under the cinema main screen. At this point, we would indulge in the contents of the little box with the corresponding number.
Romeo and Juliet Menu and mystery boxes
I took a photograph of the contents of each little box before the film began. Note that these are the vegetarian versions, which replaced pork scratchings with popcorn and chorizo with beetroot and mushroom with ox tongue.
Romeo and Juliet 'edible cinema' box contents
We missed the first number appear, but we saw everyone else eating and tucked in. At that time, there was a big fight with explosions going on, so I assume we just missed it due to the flashes. The first item was the pork scratchings with sea salt, charcoal and chili flakes. This corresponded to the petrol station exploding with the fiery chili and charcoal. Each mystery box taste and texture or smell corresponded to what was happening in the film.
Another example is Romeo popping a pill; the mystery box was in two parts and the second part was popping a vitamin pill at the same time when Romeo downs a similar-looking pill (drug). The most iconic is the vile of poision that Juliet takes and the one that Romeo takes; both of these were cocktails made with 'Bombay Sapphire'. (Note that non-alcoholic versions of the drinks are also available to those who do not drink alcohol.)
Romeo and Juliet on the big screen
I've included a photograph of the menu below.
This is certainly a unique way to enjoy film. I did not enjoy some of the items as they tasted a little strange, but I tried them. I even tried the mayonnaise one (mayonnaise with artichoke), and I hate mayonnaise. The texture put me off, but it was meant to symbolise inside of slimey plants, and it worked well. The cocktails were lovely, and I enjoyed the popcorn (first box) and the sweet and soft white chocolate cross (last box).
Have you been to see an 'Edible Cinema' film? What did you think? If you would like more information about Edible Cinema, visit their website: http://www.ediblecinema.co.uk