So, I had the pleasure of witnessing the Hallé Orchestra at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall where I and the rest of the packed-out theatre were treated to a smorgasbord of movie music as we joined them on a musical journey to extraordinary worlds, meeting the legendary heroes and monstrous foes that have populated the greatest fantasy films, TV series and video games of the last four decades. Famous scores including: Game of Thrones, Final Fantasy, The Hunger Games, Lord of The Rings, The Twilight Saga, Highlander, Harry Potter, Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, How to Train Your Dragon, The Chronicles of Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spiderman and Angry Birds (this last one being the world-famous game downloaded to many a smartphone the world over). Presented by the charismatic and funny Hannah Waddingham, the English actress and singer who featured on the hit TV series ‘Game of Thrones’, each musical performance was introduced with a description of the film it featured in and delivered with Waddingham’s sense of humour.
For an hour and a half (with a 20-minute interval) we were treated to some beautifully arranged sounds of a wonderfully gifted and accomplished 80-piece orchestra who captivated the audience with a spellbinding performance. I was most taken by the conductor, Stephen Bell’s lively and energetic performance as he directed the orchestra from his rostrum, injecting the musicians with the passion and energy he obviously gets from music. Indeed, it is hard not to feel invigorated by the energy of a well-practiced and tightly synched orchestra. And, by the many audience members who were humming and singing the songs they’d just heard as we left the concert hall at the end, it appeared everyone had had a great evening’s entertainment.
Review by James Toomey