One tube line down, 10 to go! Now we’ve done with the Hammersmith & City line, we’ve moved onto the Jubilee and, to our surprise, the first cinema on the list doesn’t appear till Kilburn. And what a cinema it is. None of your mass marketed chains for this part of North West London, instead we visited The Tricycle, an independent centre for theatre, film and community engagement with a strong focus on innovation and an international view http://www.tricycle.co.uk/ On the day we visited, the programme included creative workshops for young people, Olivier award-winning plays (Moira Buffini’s Handbagged), a couple of films on offer and some fantastic looking West Indian food served in the fully stocked bar/café. I would strongly recommend you check The Tricycle out even if you’re not local, as it has so much to offer and provides a diverse cultural viewpoint for our beautifully diverse capital city, showcased to perfection on Kilburn High Road.

The cinema itself has clearly been done up more recently than the rest of the centre and was comfy enough, although it felt a little like a lecture hall thanks to its layout. As The Tricycle holds regular Q&A’s with directors, actors and writers, this may be deliberate, but a bit more leg room and a central aisle would have made relaxing in front of a film slightly nicer. As mentioned, the café/bar offers good hot meal options and drinks in a pleasant space, giving the visitor the option of a good, albeit slightly pricey night out. Our tickets were only £9.50 each though, so things balanced out. If you’re looking for traditional cinema snacks the options are limited, but you might feel that home-made cakes and cold beer more than make up for the lack of giant M&Ms. A member of the Europa Cinemas Network http://www.europa-cinemas.org/en/Network/About-Europa-Cinemas I would come back to The Tricycle to see interesting films not on show in my local multiplex, but wouldn’t class it as a ‘destination’ venue in the same way as I might the theatre.

Everyone we met on this evening was lovely – from the genuinely friendly and helpful staff to our fellow film-goers. In particular the groups of older Irish ladies watching Jimmy’s Hall for whom the story was obviously close to home. Much less bleak than expected, the film really engaged the viewer with characters who could easily have felt uncomfortably one-dimensional within such a predictable story arc. This is a gentle film which doesn’t delve too harshly into the political divides which shaped Ireland in the 20th century, but stays focussed on individuals as ciphers for the clash of ideals taking shape in the 1930s. It left me wanting to know what happened in this small community next but that, obviously, is another story.

Combined scores:

How comfy were the seats? 5/10

How good were the (cinema!) snacks? 5/10

How nice were the staff? 9/10

How sticky were the floors? 6/10

How great was the ambience? 8/10

Average: 6.6/10

How much did we like the film? 7/10