harry potter in concert.
Harry Potter in Concert: 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'
Royal Albert Hall, Saturday 13th May 2017
Justin Freer& The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
If there's one thing people my age love, it's 'Harry Potter.' We grew up with the boy wizard, queued diligently for midnight releases of new novels, laughed and cried at all eight films and have spent money hand over fist for tickets for the new play (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and trips to the Studio Tour and theme park.
Now, there' a new kid on the block: Harry Potter in Concert. This new breed of Harry Potter-based entertainment, live at the Royal Albert Hall, pairs the films with a full orchestra who play the entire score, from beginning to end, as the subtitled film plays on a big screen.
And I loved it.
I have seen 'Philosopher's Stone' so many times, but saw it with fresh eyes when accompanied by the stunning Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, ably conducted by the spirited Justin Freer. The score was the centrepiece for this incredible concert and there were many occasions where my spine tingled as I rediscovered pieces of music I had entirely ignored in the films.
I was unsure at first at Freer's request for the audience to 'join in': to cheer for their favourite characters and boo their least favourite. I was there for the music, and the film, and not for a pantomime. However, it really, really worked and I felt very much part of a Potter community by the interval of the performance.
If anything, the film was more moving with the music being showcased, and I am not afraid to admit I cried as Hagrid waved Harry off from Hogsmeade Station at the end of the performance. Playing through the credits, too, was all the more moving for the audience of Potter fanatics, and Alan Rickman's name invited a particularly big cheer from the audience.
The concerts will take place annually, moving through the franchise's films in chronological order. Next up, therefore, is 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' on 27th and 28th April 2018. Tickets are available here. I've already got mine!