6 November 2015
Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
Tonight we joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a night of Viennese classics at The Hawth Theatre in Crawley, West Sussex. Situated just ten minutes from Gatwick Airport, with very easy access to the M23 motorway and plenty of free parking The Hawth is a great theatre to watch any show but it really did the Royal Philharmonic justice. We were seated in the rear circle which had a fantastic view of the stage but there isn’t actually a bad seat in the house and the acoustics are fabulous.
On taking our seats we were struck by struck by the sheer size of the orchestra which was made up of 73 different members not including the director/conductor. These are predominantly strings but also have a large woodwind section, brass, five percussionists and even a harp. Whilst we like classical music we are no experts so although we knew there would be some old favourites such as the Blue Danube Waltz and songs from The Merry Widow we wondered how much of the music would be familiar to us. The answer was the major proportion of the performance, if not by name certainly by sound, and we were soon clapping and foot tapping along to the classic Viennese beat.
Whilst the majority were orchestral there were four separate arias from Die Fledermaus sang beautifully by soprano Sarah Redgewick, and she didn’t just stand there and sing there was real theatre in her performance that brought something extra special to the evening. The orchestras director Duncan Ridell not only was a fine conductor but played the violin superbly throughout.
During the interval The Hawth has plenty of seating in and nearby the bar area and the bar is well-stocked including a selection of lovely local ice creams to purchase.
We had a fabulous evening listening to a glorious night in old Vienna and came away relaxed and happy with a new respect for classical music. Whatever your music taste I recommend getting tickets to watch and listen to the great performance of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
To see What’s On at The Hawth in Crawley visit www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk.
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636