Reviewed by Lindsay Burton
Having been a Harry Potter for more than 18 years, it didn’t come as a surprise to anyone that at least one of my three children would follow suit. With my eldest in tow, we excitedly made our way to Nottingham’s Theatre Royal and Concert Hall to relive the enchantment of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Concert – The first Harry Potter film on a big screen – one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena’s that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. More than 1.3 million fans worldwide have enjoyed this magical experience from JK Rowling’s Wizarding World since its premiere. We were swept away in this sparkling display of live music and film while we followed the familiar adventures of Harry and his friends, having to remind myself a few times that this concert was in fact accompanied live by John Williams’ unforgettable score performed by Czech National Symphony Orchestra and not the sound on the film. For those of you who aren’t Harry Potter fans, in this first of the series, Harry Potter learns on his 11th birthday that he is the orphaned son of two wizards and possesses magical powers of his own. At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he learns the high-flying sport of Quidditch and plays a thrilling ‘live’ chess game en-route to facing a Dark Wizard bent on destroying him.
Having watched the films more than once too many, I could not fault the mesmerizing performance at any point. It flowed perfectly and the audience were thoroughly engrossed in their performance, cheering and clapping at iconic points in the film and/or when favourite characters made their first appearance.
The Theatre Royal in Nottingham is a popular venue in the heart of Nottingham City Centre and is owned by Nottingham City Council as part of a complex that also includes the city’s Royal Concert Hall. The Theatre Royal attracts major touring dramas, opera, ballet, West End musicals and an annual pantomime. The venue can easily be reached by various forms of transport and there are many parking facilities close by.
The facilities were clean even though the queues were long during intermission and many people were still waiting to use the facilities when the call back sounded. There are many drink and snack facilities open before the show and during intermission so we could stock up for our adventure.
Parking at the Q-Park allows for members of the audience to have their tickets validated for £5 fee. Unfortunately, after our show last night and upon exiting the parking and after paying the £5 validation fee, I was still directed to pay £6 by the ticketing machine. I was stuck in a position of having my son in the car so I couldn’t return to the Concert Hall to query the ticket but I emailed the Concert Hall about the incident and they replied very quickly and were very happy to help and refund my money.
The iconic music of the astonishingly successful Harry Potter films has delighted generations of wizards and muggles for more than 18 years. The Czech National Symphony Orchestra will continue to perform live at concert halls around the UK to accompany a screening of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone as part of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series.
Harry Potter in Concert is currently on tour, for more information and tour dates visit www.harrypotterinconcert.com.
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND