Russell Watson Live at the Arley Hall Proms Review


Reviewed by Emily B

I was so excited to see that Russell would be performing locally to us, and even more so when I was given the opportunity to review the show on behalf of What’s Good To Do. The Proms with Russell Watson took place at one of the most beautiful venues in Cheshire – Arley Hall. The hall dates back to 1832 and is open 7 days a week to visitors to explore the house, carefully curated gardens, woodlands, children’s playground, and fabulous Gardener’s Kitchen Café. As season ticket holders we love a trip to Arley Hall! For those who haven’t had a chance to visit yet you’ll likely recognise the hall itself from major TV productions such as the recent and notable Peaky Blinders and Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once.

Arley is no stranger to hosting events and their roster throughout the year is impressive. Month to month you can expect entertainment trails, guided nature walks, garden festivals, food festivals, outdoor theatre and shows such as the proms. With huge grounds and considerable experience with large events, parking is plentiful and we had no issues.

The show was set on the fields in front of the hall, with VIP tickets including seating and regular tickets bringing their own camping chairs or blanket. We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day; not always a given in the British summer!

The externally provided food offerings at the event was varied, with wood-fired pizza, two Greek gyros caterers, steak burgers, curries, ice cream, and numerous drinks options. The prices were standard for events, for example a beer at the main bar was £6.20 per pint, a glass of Prosecco at The Secret Garden from £7. We had cocktails from Boozy (£16 for two) which were impressive.

The facilities weren’t up to the usual Arley scratch of cabins of toilet cubicles; Instead there were the usual festival Portaloo’s, although they were kept clean and the queues were short.

We were located in the VIP area for the show, courtesy of the organisers, which provided us with a sectioned off area complete with fairy lights and tipis. The VIP ticket secured you a seat in this area and there was a mix of picnic benches, cushioned function chairs, and metal chairs. The VIP area didn’t seem to afford much more than this though. We were much further from the stage and the chairs weren’t hugely comfortable. We had two private Portaloo’s, a private bar, and our own gyros truck by Taka Taka Mam (their food is incredible!). We felt the VIP area wasn’t quite plush enough for the additional price.

Now, to Russell Watson himself! I wondered how the sound and lighting would work with it being held outdoors but it did not disappoint. His voice wasn’t lost in the surrounding countryside and lighting was timed to crescendos. I didn’t know Russell’s discography ahead of the event but he performed well known songs such as O Sole Mio and New Blu, Dipinto Di Blue and my personal favourite Caruso. Goosebumps aplenty! He sang with passion and intensity that I couldn’t have believed and we didn’t want to end. Russell’s performance lasted for two hours with short intervals! He exuded personality throughout his performance, talking to the audience and making us laugh. The performance finished with two renditions of Land of Hope and Glory with the audience on their feet, waving their flags.

The show started with support act Millie Royle at 6pm before Russell took to the stage at 7:30pm and finished with a booming firework display over the Cheshire countryside. It was such a special evening that we will always cherish.

Tickets started at £40 for general admission for an adult with varying VIP tickets priced at £75.

Russell is touring throughout the UK in 2024: check out the tour dates, and the schedule of events at Arley Hall at https://www.arleyhallandgardens.com/whats-on/whats-on-in-may/

Rating: 4/5

Show More
Back to top button