Go to Casablanca via East London

Alison Taylor's Moroccan(ish) adventure

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Play it again, Sam

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Why can’t Rick’s Bar be there all the time? The jazz singers, the dancing ladies, the indoor palm trees, the glitter-and-fur fashions…For anyone not in the know, Rick’s is the iconic bar in classic wartime movie Casablanca presided over by the white tuxedo’d Humphrey Boghart, AKA Rick Blaine. It’s where his former sweetheart Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) shows up out of the blue as well as a half-way house for rogues, rebels and artists desperate to make their escape to America and out of the clutches of the Nazi rule. Sounds exciting right? Well you can join the party thanks to Future Cinema’s (the guys who also do ‘Secret Cinema’) latest immersive movie- watching experience.

The wonderful Troxy in Whitechapel is today’s Rick’s – a beautiful art deco theatre transformed into a jazz-style bar, complete with very-civilised-we-must-say table seating, a glistening stage to host numerous singing and leg-kicking acts and, of course, that piano. Even if you haven’t seen the film you’ll know the famous line, “Play it again Sam”. And Sam does, several times in fact. You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss… sigh. And once ‘As Time Goes By’ has been played live, and you’ve had time to down a few potent ‘Casablanca’ cocktails (served in a chic bath), feast on some Moro-prepared Moroccan harissa chicken and couscous and perhaps try your hand at the casino, the 1942 film will be played in full. Go, you won’t regret it – just watch out for the Fez -wearing militia and be quick, tickets are selling out fast.

Rick’s Café Américain remains open until March 23rd to accommodate Casablanca’s most illustrious guests from across the world. Expect Secret Artists, Benoît Viellefon and the house band, as well as expertly prepared Moroccan delicacies by Exmouth Market’s Moro.

For more information and tickets visit

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