With fishnet tights hanging from the chandeliers, bras draped over blackboards, and all the staff wearing pigtails, freckles and saucy school uniform, Cirque nightclub on Leicester Square was transformed into St Trinian's school for the film's lavish premire party last week.
"This is more fun than most," said Colin Firth, as waiters served daube of beef, ham hock, sprouts and treacle duff (the school-dinners theme slipping slightly to include a sushi bar too). Firth's wife, Livia, pealed with laughter on being offered a mini-bagel on a platter made of ripped-up geography textbook and frilly knickers. "Well, that's the St Trinian's thing," said Firth. "Pretty pervy, really."
Almost on cue, ropes descended from the ceiling and acrobats dressed as schoolgirls started gyrating in mid-air, gymslips slipping to expose yet more lacy pants, to the strains of "We don't need no education". Celia Imrie and her 13-year-old son watched open-mouthed.
At the "chemistry lab", where cocktails were being mixed, Nicky Clarke could be seen embracing Kelly Hoppen, their two perfectly coiffed heads together, while at the "tuck shop", where producers were sucking lollipops and guzzling Valrhona truffles, actress Gemma Arterton stood transformed from head girl to screen siren by a Louis Vuitton gown chosen at the last minute and worn, her boyfriend confided, back to front.
Up in the "headmaster's office", Russell Brand had fellow cast members, the 10-year-old twins Holly and Cloe Mackie, perched on his lap. A twin on each knee, Russell? "It's how I live my life." Finally, the small screen stars and their chaperones left, a striking blonde transvestite arrived, and the dancefloor filled to "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". Yes, and casting directors, rising stars and movie moguls of a certain age, too.Reuse content