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Secret Cinema presents Bridgerton review - a jolly good night on the Ton

Step into high society with this immersive experience

Dear reader, like most people who have access to a Netflix account, I have had the great pleasure of watching Shondaland's Bridgerton. The lockdown sensation that made stars of Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page has to be one of the best period dramas of the 21st century - alongside Kiera Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen's 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, of course…

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Being a huge fan of the show, when I got the opportunity to check out the Secret Cinema event, I jumped at it - and I wasn't disappointed. 

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Upon arrival at a secret location in Wembley, my phone was locked away in a sealed ziplock bag and I was told that I would only be able to use it in the smoking area and then in the ballroom after 'It's Raining Men' had played. Like many Gen Z'ers, I am completely addicted to my phone and was slightly alarmed by this rule - but I'm so glad that it was in place as it turned out to be one of the best parts of the night. 

The moment I stepped through the door I was struck by the sheer vastness of the location, with both of the main rooms carefully crafted to emulate scenes from the show. 

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The festivities didn't start there, however. Before I even stepped foot inside the event, I was encouraged to embrace the world of Regency-era London by choosing a new aristocratic identity and even had the opportunity to learn historical ballroom dances by watching online tutorials - but I get the feeling that not many people did, so don't worry if that's not your thing.

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Once in the building, I was given the opportunity to have my makeup done and purchase an appropriate ballgown - so if you haven't had time to find a frock, then fear not! To make the most of your experience, I'd suggest going all out with your costume - but a long dress with hand gloves or a smart suit will suffice. 

Walking through the reception room to the food hall, I saw bustling food stalls and bar seating areas that gave a warm, pub-like atmosphere, with guests taking a break from ballroom dances to have a bite to eat. 

You'll be glad to hear that the food is perhaps the only thing that doesn't tie in with the Regency theme, with crepes, pulled pork brisket, jackfruit burgers and fries all on offer - thankfully, no suet pudding or sweetbreads in sight. There's also a wide range of alcoholic beverages on offer, including cocktails, champagne and prosecco. 

The event's opening was celebrated with a transformation of Regency Street

I was then guided into the epic ballroom by the towering prop trees which imitated the purple wisteria of Grosvenor Square. Making my way to the bar, I was informed by one of the many cast members that Queen Charlotte would soon be making her grand entrance. 

Moments later, a fanfare began and a hoard of actors entered the ballroom in groups. The crowds parted as Queen Charlotte made her way across the stage and to her elevated throne. She was followed by actors playing key characters from the Netflix series, who then proceeded to engage in dialogue with each other and would perform bite-sized scenes from the show throughout the evening. 

Each of the main rooms were crafted to emulate scenes from the show

Not only are the actors completely committed to staying in character but are also the doppelgangers of the real-life Netflix cast - I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't slightly starstruck by the actor playing Anthony Bridgerton.

I made my way to the bar to discover that not only were the actors bound to their Regency-era characters but so were the bar staff! I was impressed by the polite barman who refused to break character while pouring me a glass of house champagne. 

With my drink in hand, I left the ballroom and made my way into what looked like a boxing club. In this room, which had a boxing ring installed in the centre, actors were teaching guests Regency-style ballroom dances while jolly music played. 

The actors were the doppelgangers of the real-life Netflix cast

Over the course of four hours, several integral scenes from the Netflix show played out in the ballroom while short clips from the series were projected onto white curtains which were drawn across the ceiling periodically. 

If this sounds all too civilised for you, then fear not because by the end of the night, any air of sophistication went out the window when 'It's Raining Men' began to play and a disco broke out. 

While guests were now allowed access to their phones, I was surprised to see that there was no huge queue forming to have the ziplock bags opened - perhaps this is the greatest testament to how much fun the night really was.

With the female to male ratio being slightly imbalanced (I'd say 75-25), the disco did feel more like a hen night towards the end - but who doesn't love a girls' night out? 

Queen Charlotte sat on her elevated throne in the ballroom

If you're tempted by a night on the Ton then tickets are available from £49 on Fever's marketplace. Scroll to the top of the article for a link to buy tickets. 

Group Standard and VIP tickets are now available for groups of five at a discounted price per person - from £44.10 per person.

The experience is currently due to run until Sunday 27 March.

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