Flash mobs, live dance and 1930s sky bar at BFI Musicals Weekend

Visitors to Storyhouse in Chester thought they were in to see a film last weekend but instead were given surprise live dance performances and flash mobs made up of over 20 dancers.  

Organised by Storyhouse in partnership with the British Film Institute as part of the national Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen season. A range of Hollywood’s most celebrated musicals were screened during January alongside a host of interactive and immersive events.

On Friday 17 January audiences were treated to a one-off screening of Damsel in Distress. Storyhouse partnered with Chester based choreographer Chloe Vickers from House of Dance to recruit local tap dancers Matthew Duckett and Hope Evans together with West End regular David McKechnie to re-enact an iconic scene beneath the cinema screen. They danced in perfect unison with the film’s stars Fred Astaire, George Burns and Gracie Allen.

On Saturday night Storyhouse was transported back in time as its rooftop Garret Bar was transformed into a 1930s inspired Sky Bar for a screening of the classic Broadway Melody of 1936. Audiences came dressed up in period costumes to enjoy cocktails and panoramic views across Chester.

Sunday’s finale featured a screening of The Gang’s All Here accompanied by surprise live choreography.  Audiences were invited to recreate the famous Lady in the Tutti Fruitti Hat scene by holding giant inflatable bananas aloft during a Busby Berkeley inspired routine. Everyone was treated to a delicious Carmen Miranda-inspired patisserie specially created by Sweet Elements of Northgate Street, Chester.

Finally, 25 volunteers aged between 20 and 70 paraded through Storyhouse wearing top hats and tails in homage to a classic scene from The Great Ziegfeld.

Storyhouse’s cinema partners with organisations across the UK and beyond to bring a variety of film genres to Chester. In February it has partnered with the Japan Foundation for the third year to present a selection of new cinema from Japan.

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