Hundred of movie fans were left disappointed and angry on Thursday night as Secret Cinema cancelled their screening of Romeo & Juliet as doors were due to open.
Unfortunately we were not able to open this evenings performance of Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeares Romeo+Juliet owing to flooding, the Twitter account for the immersive event shared at 6.48pm; the tweet is now deleted.
The roads leading into the show cant be accessed safely by members of the public. We will email all ticket buyers with more details.
A second tweet which remains up on the site reads: We are devastated we cannot open this evenings performance owing to flooding.
Due to Health and Safety advice we cannot open the performance this evening. We will email all ticket buyers with more details of alternative dates or refunds.
We are devastated we cannot open this evening's performance owing to flooding. Due to Health and Safety advice we cannot open the performance this evening. We will email all ticket buyers with more details of alternative dates or refunds.
— secretcinema (@secretcinema) August 9, 2018
What made many ticket holders unhappy was that at 5pm an email was sent confirming the event was going ahead, and that the events frequently asked questions claim it will go ahead rain or shine.
This is an outdoor event which will take place beneath the glorious summer sky. The event will take place regardless of the prevailing weather conditions. Please ensure that you are dressed appropriately, reads the websites FAQs.
Lucy Smith travelled from Sheffield for the event and she told Metro.co.uk that the tube station was packed at the ticket hall while Sarah got in touch to reveal that they only found out it had been cancelled when the local tube station was chaotic.
The steward (the only one we saw) was still talking in character so people thought it was all part of the act, added Sarah.
Lucys arrival slot was 6pm – arrivals are staggered between 6pm and 7.30pm – and she admits that as we got out of the station we heard a steward saying itd been cancelled and to carry on walking where someone else would let us know what to do, but we couldnt find anyone.
A few people went all the way to the site and were turned away there. Most people were still hanging about as we hadnt had any official correspondence from the organisers. We decided to head back to the tube after waiting for about 20 minutes with still no official news, when we overheard one steward saying they were still having a meeting to decide if it was cancelled, so it wasnt 100% confirmed.
We waited there for a bit, but soon enough he announced it was definitely off.
Rebecca Zoe was one of the first on the scene and admits that stewards had implied on the walk from the tube that they were unsure if it was going ahead but when they arrived at the main entrance it was totally flooded so there was no way of getting in to the park.
They kept us waiting there for maybe 20 minutes while they tried to figure out what was happening. They mentioned finding another entrance. Ultimately I think there was flooding in the park so their health and safety people wouldnt let them open.
Kay Dekker arrived around 6.20pm to what she describes as utter chaos at Acton Town, no one knew what what happening.
It wasnt until they moved closer to the site that they saw a steward with a megaphone saying it was cancelled.
Less than two hours before wed received an email saying it was going ahead! Weve wasted money on travel, hotel, costumes and were defo not going to see any of that back (sic), she added.
Many also took to social media to ask organisers about the lack of communication and information, while others asked if travel and accommodation would also be refunded.
Everything says that the show will go on no matter the weather so we have spent money on costumes, transport, childcare..etc and then you cancel at a moments notice due to rain, wrote Emma Parmer on FaceBook.
We STILL have not received an email about the cancellation but got one at 5pm telling us everything was good to go!? Disgraceful.
Thats shit notice! You emailed at 5pm saying just bring a rain coat. Not cool! Wasted journey. Wasted hotel. Waste of Fucking time, added Matt Pam.
How can you be so stupid not to plan for rain? ITS ENGLAND. You guys need to get your act together. Maybe start by dishing out our refunds and compensation for travel and accommodation, suggested Pete Sibthorp.
Secret Cinema, the immersive film company that brings your favourite films to life, was hoping to bring fair Verona to life after announcing Romeo and Juliet would be their latest summer show.
Taking inspo from Baz Lurhmanns 1995 film, the event was the largest production the team had ever produced.
The event gives the audience a new identity, with ticket holders being asked to dong rich chic or Hawaiian shirts as you become a member of the warring Montague and Capulet factions and are guided through the film in real-time as actors playing Romeo, Juliet and the rest of the key players will interact with you.
Secret Cinema gave Metro.co.uk the following statement: We are very disappointed to announce that due to todays extreme weather conditions we were unable to open tonights performance of Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeares Romeo + Juliet.
We have a contingency plan for severe weather and had monitored the site all day. At around 5pm there was an intense increase in adverse weather making the entrance to the site a health and safety concern. It was at this point we had to take a last minute decision to cancel the show as safety must be our primary concern.
We offer our sincere apologies to those people who have been inconvenienced today. Those people who have tickets for this evening will be offered an alternative date, subject to availability and those who cannot attend on an alternative date will receive a full refund.
The Secret Cinema customer services team will be in touch with all ticket holders, but should anyone have an urgent enquiry please email [email protected]