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Salmon and wine – the perfect Shrewsbury evening!
19 Jun 2012
by Rhea Alton

Going to the cinema is all part of growing up – meeting people there, buying tickets, queuing for sweets and nachos, queuing for the screen, racing to get the best seats……I have had some great cinema experiences.

But now I am a bit older, although I still love a trip to the local Cineworld and a bag of popcorn, I have discovered the beauty of Shrewsbury’s Old Market Hall.

Film after film shows at the venue with viewings during the day and throughout the evening and it is home to a cafe bar where you can relax and socialise before or after the film – and to top it all off if you want to take your bottle of wine into the cinema you can!

I paid a visit to the Old Market Hall this week to watch Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked.

I wasn’t sure how keen on the film I would be as both my husband and I had read and loved Paul Torday’s novel and I was worried the move from page to screen would have made the tale unrecognisable.

But I was wrong, the story of a visionary sheik (Waked) who wants to introduce salmon fishing into the Yemen to enrich the lives of his people and the reaction and attitude of ¬†fisheries expert Alfred Jones (McGregor) when he is forced to go along with the “absurd” idea is brilliant.

I laughed out loud on numerous occasions thanks to the brilliant portrayal by Scott Thomas of the Prime Minister’s press officer and I enjoyed Blunt’s portrayal of the consultant hired to be the go-between for the sheik and Dr Jones.

McGregor is well-suited to the role of Alfred and plays it extremely well but for me it was Waked as the sheik that really impressed. In the book the sheik comes across as an amazing man and you come to trust in him and his ideas and that can be difficult to mirror in a film, but Waked does it…and easily.

The film is based on Torday’s novel but there are of course differences – there is one huge difference between the film and the book but I won’t detail it here for fear of ruining it for anyone that is planning to go and watch. And I would recommend you go and watch it. It is a feel-good, funny, moving film and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sitting back and enjoying a glass of wine with a good film was a great way to spend an evening and as I went to the 5.30pm showing there was plenty of time afterwards to go out for dinner in Shrewsbury.

We would have stayed in the cafe for a couple more drinks but the showing after us had been booked out by one party and they were enjoying champagne and canapes before their film – an idea for the future maybe!!!