Suited and booted, my friends and I dressed in our very best (rather last minute, in my case!) Welton Academy uniforms, and watched live poetry recitals, lit candles in memory of the much-loved actor, swapped well-thumbed, old books and nostalgically tucked in to some ‘school dinner’ (alas, the crumble was juuuust as I remembered it…!)
The Secret Cinema actors really enriched the film’s atmosphere, at times even running around in the dark with torches at the same time as the actors on screen. The Secret Cinema actors also stood on desks underneath the screen (whist we in the audience stood on our chairs) during the film’s (especially) emotional and poignant last scene, where the students stand on their desks in solidarity for their incredible, unorthodox teacher, John Keating (below). My spine tingled from hearing the copious bellows of, ‘O Captain, my Captain,’ from within the weepy crowd. This was the perfect tribute.
Several other screenings of the film were organised elsewhere in the UK, as well as in New York and Prague, and in Robin Williams’ memory, the £24,000 raised from these screening's profits and text donations, is going to mental health awareness charities. Contributions can still easily be made by texting CINEMA to 70660 to give £3.00 to Mind.