Film fans were left disappointed when Harry Potter actor Ralph Fiennes made a last-minute cancellation of a scheduled Q&A session at Jericho cinema The Phoenix Picturehouse.
Fiennes was advertised as doing a Q&A session following a screening of upcoming Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus, scheduled for the 16th February. The veteran actor both directed and starred in the film. It was announced on the 14th by the Phoenix that he would not be attending, though the screening would still occur.
But disappointed cinema-goers accuse the Phoenix of failing to advertise adequately the change of plans. Though posts were made on the cinema’s Facebook page and website, those who had already bought tickets were not directly contacted. The event remained labelled “Coriolanus + Q&A with Ralph Fiennes” on the cinema’s website, with tickets available for purchase, right up until it occurred.
The cinema offered customers a full refund, but some ticket purchasers criticised the process. “I was on the phone to them for 20 minutes on hold so at 10p a minute this cost £2, which I’m not too happy about,” said one student.
A representative for the cinema’s parent company City Screen told the Oxford Student they were “bitterly disappointed” and “extremely frustrated” by the cancellation, and that they had tried to relay the change of plans through the “quickest possible” channels as soon as they had heard. The failure to change the event’s name was a result of a systematic issue with the website, and that it was “something we need to work on”.
He cited “filming commitments” as the reason for the cancellation. Mr Fiennes’ staff but they were unable to provide comment in time for publication.