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secret cinema at alexandra palace

For my birthday awhile back, my lovely studio mates told me they'd set up Stuart and me for a mystery evening for yesterday's date. As the date grew nearer, they revealed they'd bought us all tickets to Secret Cinema, and as clues came out, we discovered we needed to dress as Bedouins, and since we'd be in the red tribe, to plan our headdresses accordingly. Now I'd always been curious to visit Alexandra Palace:

And I've always wanted to see a certain film ever since I obsessed over it as a 12-year-old, but I hadn't wanted to see it on anything but large screen, so it had been over 20 years of waiting. No one actually knew what the film was going to be, but the clues had us guessing... and we were right, that night's showing was Lawrence of Arabia! It was so much fun piecing back together all the scenes I remembered. And we even had our own Lawrence ride out on a camel at the start.

But the evening wasn't just a screening, the organisers must have worked their tails off to fill the palace with loads of props, sets and actors. It looked amazing! Here's Lauren and Gary, practicing their Arabic penmanship.

The place was rife with colonial bureaucracy.

Several in our tribe interviewed and were photographed for their admission into the army.

Desert communication was limited.

And it was too dark to get many good photos of the souk, but here are two members of the Fleece Station with woolly friends and skeins of yarn.

More technology and bottles of mystery insects, maggots and crickets in one of the souk's curiosity stalls.

We had great fun watching thousands of people arriving in their costumes. Here's our tribe with our studio members and Lauren's sister, mum and stepdad.

We were supposed to bring something to barter with (Lauren's sister brought an astonishing Amazonian birdhouse and Lauren brought some bling from a Dolly Parton party) but Stuart and I ended up keeping our Cadbury Heroes and dispensing them to our tribe during the screening.

What a fabulous evening, thanks so much, guys! xx

Edit: Even better photos here by Jamie Smart's friend Philip G.W. Smith. And army recruitment photos here!


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
Goodness - you just live in a magical land of amazing events!
Sep. 6th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
It's true! London is never boring!
Sep. 6th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
This is amazing Sarah, what an incredible night it must have been. You all look wonderful!
Sep. 6th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
OOPS, that wasn't anonymous at all, that was Trish Phillips!
Sep. 6th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
Hi, Trish! Thanks, it was an amazing night!
Sep. 6th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Wow, that looks... wow. I have no words.
Sep. 6th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
It was SO wow! My mind boggled to think how many people and how much organisation had to go into pulling that off.
Sep. 6th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
you guys are just too cool!
Sep. 7th, 2010 06:24 am (UTC)
I think it was Lauren! She always seems to know about these things! :D
Sep. 7th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
Holy cow, uh, or camel! That looks completely incredible, what a land of miracles you inhabit. Love the insect jars, of course. :)
Sep. 7th, 2010 06:25 am (UTC)
They were live insects! And yeah, the camel was very cool, they have the best faces. :)
Sep. 7th, 2010 10:01 am (UTC)
woah - I've never heard of this place...it sounds amazing!! ^_^
Sep. 8th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
astonishing amazonian bird house still up for grabs!
It was an amazing night wasn't it!? The classic 'Orence of Arabia' soundtrack will stay with me until the worms set in. Thanks Sarah for recording it with such fab pics.

STILL UP FOR TRADE: In exchange for an Iphone 4 or GHDs - amazonian bird house - nearly new, one careful owner. - Natali (boat lady) x
Sep. 8th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Re: astonishing amazonian bird house still up for grabs!
Can I trade you the birdhouse for the boat? :D

Great to see you there, that really was amazing!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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