No reservations about packing Royston Picture Palace programme to meet Marigold mania

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Credit: Archant

One of the standout successes of ‘grey pound’ cinema was such a box office hit that a sequel was a certainty – and now it’s arrived, Royston Picture Palace has set aside an entire weekend to satisfy demand for tickets.

That’s why, if you’re planning to make a reservation at The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, you can choose from no fewer than five screenings this weekend.

And the Picture Palace has timed them so that even if you’re not used to staying up late, you can catch the movie.

The first film was based on Deborah Moggach’s novel These Foolish Things, about a mixed group of wrinklies upping sticks and starting a new life at a retirement hotel in faraway India.

If featured a star-studded cast of familiar Brit faces including Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson, along with fresh-faced Dev ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Patel to appeal to the younger generation.

Boosted by matinee showings and strong word of mouth, it was a success of Calendar Girls proportions so the cameras were sure to roll again.

Many of those faces are back in harness and so is director John Madden, who also called the shots on hits like Shakespeare In Love and Mrs Brown.

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Added to the mix is silver fox Richard Gere, setting hearts a-flutter among the womenfolk as storylines ebb and flow.

There’s far too much going on, and whenever there’s a pause a production song and dance number which will have earned the film a big thumbs-up from the Indian Tourist Board kicks in.

But it knows exactly what it is doing, ticks all the right boxes, and fans of the first movie will be queueing up to see it.

It’s showing at 7.30pm on Friday night, 12.30pm, 3.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday and then at 5pm on Saturday.

Visit for more details.

Arriving at a multiplex near you this week as Easter approaches is Kenneth Branagh’s new take on the Cinderella story, with Lily James as our downtrodden heroine and Cate Blanchett as the cruel stepmother. Helena Bonham Carter pops up as the fairy godmother.

Also expected to be everywhere is Get Hard, which teams the comic talents of Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart in a chalk and cheese comedy – Will’s a hedge fund manager facing a spell inside who hires Kevin to toughen him up, and even though his chosen tutor is a law-abiding citizen he throws himself into the role with gusto because it’s a nice little earner.