5 July 2014
Reviewed by Rachael Richardson
What a super evening this was.
The journey into the centre of Birmingham with the aid of a Satnav was much easier than expected.
Car parking was extremely good with only a short walk to the venue, although a little expensive at £8.80 (we had arrived early).
The location of the Symphony Hall was very good with easy access to the plaza and canal area and there was a wide choice of food outlets ranging from pub food to an Italian Restaurant. The area was very busy and ‘alive’ even at 4pm. There was plenty to see and do with the large open plaza, inns, cafes and restaurants located on the canal front. Canal boats were passing by with on-board party goers having fun.
The Symphony Hall staff were polite and helpful and we enjoyed a drink with a local couple whilst waiting for the doors to open.
Once seated there was a short wait for the concert to begin and we were not disappointed. The orchestra was good and the music was well-known, captivating the audience from an early stage, who could not resist tapping their toes.
At the interval there was a free refreshing glass of ‘’Pimms’’ or orange juice for those that elected to drive that wished and a bar for those who did not.
The second half began, picking up the pace and with thee excellent singing artists the second half surpassed the first. The two ladies sang a duet which was mesmerising and the gentleman was impressive too. The fun then really began: flags were waved with gusto and the very humorous conductor (Hilary Davan Wetton) had everyone laughing, singing and clapping – having a thoroughly enjoyable time, singing along to songs like Jerusalem and Rule Britannia.
The programme featured music from Rossini (William Tell Overture), Strauss (Blue Danube Waltz), Brahms (Hungarian Dance No 5), Elgar (Nimrod from Enigma Variations), Coates (The Dambusters March) and lots more including a flag-waving finale featuring Prom favourites such as Jerusalem, Rule Britannia, Nessun Dorma and Land of Hope and Glory.
A good night which sadly seemed to come to an end all too quickly.
Just one minor criticism, in the ladies rest rooms there were no hooks behind the toilet doors to place your handbag – a minor inconvenience but I do not like putting my handbag on the floor in a toilet!
The journey out of Birmingham was a little more confusing due to two road closures but the trusty satnav soon had us back on track.
This show is more than worth the money you pay and is a funny, romantic joyful night out, definitely a must see with fantastic music.
Symphony Hall. 32 Broad Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 2EA | 0121 345 0600