Sunday, July 27, 2008

Doctor Who Prom Report

So I went to the Prom today and managed NOT to explode from squee and glee (or melt in the heat!)

I met a couple of friends from LJ - although not until after the Prom was over.

I also spoke to Phil Collinson (outgoing Exec Producer) - poor bloke must have wondered who the hell the over-excited loony was who accosted him outside the RAH just after he and his party exited. I thanked him for his work on Who - because I know he's worked very hard on it. And he immediately diverted me into discussing the concert so I babbled like the fool I am and then wished him luck for the future.

I also saw Russell T Davies (Who's chief writer and producer) but he was up in a balcony seat (with Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) beside him) so I didn't speak to him. I did wave and shout at Catherine and she saw me and waved back!

Anywho, onto the concert proper:

It opened with a concert prologue sung by Melanie Pappenheim (she of the ethereal voice who does the Doomsday music).

Then they showed a short clip sequence featuring all the New Who companions (including Mickey and Jackie) but not Sarah Jane Smith (my first companion) which was followed by Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" - which I thought was a lovely choice (and I adore that piece of music anyway!)

Then Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) came out to introduce it and we had "All the Strange, Strange Creatures" - and it was fantastic to hear it live! There were 2 Sontarans (one helmeted, one not), 2 Judoon (ditto) and 3 Cybermen milling around during this piece. The helmeted Judoon was at the end of my row of seats (I was about 6 - 8 seats in from the aisle) and I saw it scanning some of the kids.

This was followed by Mark-Anthony Turnage's "The Torino Scale" having its UK premiere. It was a very loud, dramatic piece with lots of odd noises from the orchestra (deliberately odd, I hasten to add!)

Then one of my long time favourites - Holst's "Jupiter" from "The Planets" - during which three Ood appeared in three of the aisles.

Next was "The Doctor Forever" - which sounded quite different live compared to the CD version I'm used to hearing. Then came music for Rose, followed by Martha vs The Master (with clips from "Sound of Drums" and "The Last of the Time Lords"). Freema came out afterwards and admitted to being biased and liking that!

Then we had the "TARDIS cutaway" scene "Music of the Spheres" with the Doctor and the Graske (again) - which was aimed squarely at the children, but rather amusing too. At one point the Doctor started talking to us directly, then he threw some music he'd written through the "spatial anomaly" (I can't remember what technobabble name RTD gave it) and suddenly sheets of paper flew out over the orchestra who then played what the Doctor had supposedly just written (a raucous noise!).

RTD says of this segment (in the programme notes) that the Tenth Doctor "hadn't yet shown any aptitude for music" (after listing the various musical interests of the previous nine incarnations) - which just goes to show how little notice he takes of his own show since Ten sang bits of "I could have danced all night" (from "My Fair Lady") in Girl in the Fireplace and he tries to take Rose to an Elvis concert in "The Idiot's Lantern" - he also mentions Ian Drury at one stage too...

We then had an interval and the second part started with Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyrie" (without the cannons, alas!).

Then Noel (Mickey Smith) and Camille (Jackie Tyler) came out and introduced Murray's music for the Daleks and Davros - and a Dalek appeared on stage and Davros appeared in the Promming area and started telling us that he was going to make the Royal Albert Hall his "palace" and we would be his servants (there was quite a bit of jeering and hissing going on!). Three Cybermen also appeared in three of the aisles to gesture wildly at the Dalek and Davros.

Then we had an unexpected treat - Catherine Tate appeared on stage (she wasn't listed in the programme as presenting, unlike Freema, Noel and Camille)!! She got huge cheers before she introduced music for Donna, Reinette and Astrid.

Freema introduced Prokofiev's "Montagues and Capulets" theme from his ballet Romeo and Juliet and reminded us that Martha had met Shakespeare. Then we had This is Gallifrey (and clips with this piece included Derek Jacobi's Master regenerating into John Simm's Master) and "Doomsday" with Murray Gold letting rip on the piano.

Then Freema and an Ood introduced "The Doctor's Theme" and "Song of Freedom", the triumphant version of the "Ood Song" that we heard when the TARDIS crew were piloting the ship (and Earth) back home (Freema mentioned that day's filming was one of her absolute favourites!) - and it was nice to see some shots of the Ninth Doctor during "The Doctor's Theme".

Finally we had Tim Phillips singing "Song for Ten" and then the DW Theme from Season 4 before they encored Song of Freedom and encouraged everyone to clap along...

Oh! I forgot to mention that Freema came on stage at one point and said David had just rung her 'cos he was listening to it live in Stratford and we all cheered (and I bellowed "Hello David" like a fool!)

I had a fantastic time. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't get to see Freema or Catherine at the stage door afterwards, but there was a real screaming scrum when they appeared, and we were told to go home very quickly by the security guard, unfortunately. Still Freema was standing in the aisle just a few seats away twice and I could see how tiny and gorgeous she is!!


Office Manager said...

Thanks for the review. Sounds great

BookMoot said...

This is just too much fun. My daughter is so envious but ever so pleased to read your account.

Great reporting, Michele.

Michele said...

I know a lot of people who are envious...

I took notes in my copy of the programme (I'm THAT much of a nerd!)

Office Manager said...

The Doomsday piece was incredible.

Michele said...

I'm quite fond of Doomsday, but it's not my favourite track. But it was terrific to hear it live - and Murray Gold was really giving it some welly on the keyboard!

Office Manager said...

Doomsday is actually better live than it is recorded. My opinion. It's a truly epic piece of music.

Michele said...

*shrugs* As I said, it's quite a nice piece of music, but there are other pieces I love more...