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What we’ve been up to… Future Cinema presents Shawshank Redemption

I’ve seen some great films in my 31 years, but few compare to the cinematic genius that is Shawshank Redemption. Nominated for seven Oscars, its intelligent narrative,  beautiful score and “that twist” makes it one of those timeless films you can watch over and over again  – so I was intrigued when I heard it had been given the Secret/Future Cinema treatment last year. For starters, how do you pull off a “live cinema” version of a film like Shawshank?  Who’s playing Morgan? And since participants are invited to be inmates in this theatrical production, would there reeaaaaaally be any fun in that?

Sort of.  In case you can’t remember, Shawshank Redemption tells the story of a man thrown in jail, accused of murdering his wife and her lover. He pleads innocent but gets on with doing his time until he discovers evidence which could set him free. His initial years locked up are pretty harrowing to say the least – and inside the world of Future Cinema, we get a taste of this prison life that at times is almost too authentic for entertainment.  During the first part of the production, a few participants are shouted at and humiliated, while I witnessed  a few disturbing moments that I imagine was particularly uncomfortable for my fellow ladies in the mix.

That said, there’s no denying that Future Cinema are brilliant at what they do as the production values are incredibly high (I’d go so far as to say mind-blowing) – and any questionable factors of the spectacle are soon overcome by the convincing actors, activities and the eventual screening of a film that’s deserving of the homage.  But playing make-believe incarceration may falter in comparison to more light-hearted FC productions like Grease, Bugsy Malone  – and in a few weeks Casablanca – which you probably wouldn’t mind paying 45 quid for. Still, if you’re brave enough, want to play along and oddly fancy the kicks, this could be the ticket. Just don’t take a date if you’re a fella – and ladies, you might want to leave the girlyness (and heels) at home. On until February 24th.

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