The outdoor screening of Withnail and I is the highlight of the event in Wet Sleddale. Photo: Richie Johnston

The outdoor screening of Withnail and I is the highlight of the event in Wet Sleddale. Photo: Richie Johnston

Forget the Leicester Square red carpet and the glittering gowns at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre; the cinematic event of the year will take place at a ramshackle farmstead on the fringes of the Lake District.

Or at least that’s what the outdoors-loving aficionados of a cult British movie believe.

The Picnic Cinema event at Sleddale Hall attracts visitors from across the globe, if they are lucky enough to get their hands on a ticket.

The hall was the setting for Crow Crag in the celebrated 1987 film Withnail and I, and each year a pop-up pub, the Stopped Clock opens in the farm’s vegetable patch to serve film-themed drinks to its customers.

An outdoor screening of the cult movie, which starred Richard E Grant, Paul McGann and Richard Griffiths takes place at Sleddale Hall, overlooking Wet Sleddale reservoir on the eastern edge of the Lake District national park, near Shap.

This year will be the ninth annual screening at the event, Uncle Monty’s Summer Soiree, named after Griffiths’s character in the film. The gathering involves dressing up, camping over and visitors letting down their hair with a selection of games, quizzes and treats before settling down to a screening of the film.

Sleddale Hall, venue for the event. Photo: Eden Arts

Sleddale Hall, venue for the event. Photo: Eden Arts

Audience members are served themed food, with firm young carrots, beetroots and radishes – all nods to lines or costumes from the film – and the pop up bar is open until 1am.

Audience members come from all corners of the globe, including Italy, Belgium and Singapore, with a couple in 2017 making the journey from San Francisco for an anniversary they will never forget.

Director of Eden Arts, the organisation behind Picnic Cinema, said: “The whole event is a truly unique experience, and one of the best in the country.

“We pack so much into the events that the experience is much richer than simply going to an outdoor cinema. The crew are exceptional, friendly and helpful and by the end of the night everyone has made new friends, danced too much, and wants to return the following year.”

Tickets for the 17 and 18 July performances have already sold out to mailing list subscribers, but those for 10 and 11 July will go on sale to the public from Friday 13 March.

Details are on the Picnic Cinema website.

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