Star Trek at the Royal Albert Hall

21st Century Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Ludwig Wicki performing the UK Premiere of Star Trek Live in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

21st Century Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Ludwig Wicki performing the UK Premiere of Star Trek Live in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

The combination of a film with incredible special effects and a live orchestra playing the film score – and producing the sound effects of travel through space was indeed – out of this world.

I say this though I am certainly no Trekkie – and indeed the only disappointment of the evening was that I didn’t really see anyone at the Royal Albert Hall in full Trekkie regalia ( just a few people with Mr Spock ears and even then I didn’t like to stare in case they were in fact just people with unusually pointy ears!)

My only involvement with Star Trek until I saw this show was the TV series of many years ago, which I watched as a small child and I enjoyed but don’t remember being especially frightening.

Star Trek the movie –  the first in a new franchise with a new cast and directed by J J Abrams – is quite another matter: the atmosphere is tense from the first moment to the last. The film opens with a US Starship under attack; the death of the captain and then the first officer, who sacrifices himself to save the lives of his crew and his wife, who is heavily pregnant. The protagonist of the film – James T Kirk –  is born in fact on the way back to Earth and we next see him as an angry child goading law enforcement robots, as he races around in a vintage sports car – thus winning over anyone with a nostalgic bone in their body.

The angry child becomes an angry young man – but one who can stand up for himself in a bar brawl. And of course it’s not long before James is talent spotted by the current captain of the US Starship Enterprise – who happens to be in the same bar and knew our young lad’s father.

Soon (apparently it is actually three years on, but you know what light years are like) our hero is off on a training ship and almost simultaneously in full armed combat with the evil Nero, the Romulan Captain of an alien ship, who likes destroying whole planets.  Like I said, it’s all rather tense! But this adventure does not come before James has a few encounters with a young Spock – who is half human and half Vulcan – and you may know or remember that the Vulcans are a very logical race. Remember the phrase ” it’s illogical Captain” ? Yes that was Spock in the TV series. Well of course the pair don’t see eye to eye at first and Spock even has our hero thrown off the ship  – but James is soon transporting himself back on board and naturally the pair become friends – even though they are after the same girl. (Spock is after all half human and very occasionally shows emotion!)

I won’t say more in case you haven’t seen this 2009 Star Trek remake. You won’t have to be a fan of Star Trek to enjoy it. It’s definitely a film worth seeing on a big screen – and preferably with an orchestra and choir providing even more atmosphere!

The live music was fantastic all the way through –  but one of the most spine tingling moments (among many) was perhaps at the end when they struck up the familiar Star Trek theme – to the total delight of the audience. In fact, the orchestra got a standing ovation – not something you often see when watching Star Trek – but well deserved.

If you fancy seeing a classic film with real live surround sound there are a few more films in concert ( with a live orchestra) coming up at the Royal Albert Hall this year. Gladiator is on this Saturday. 23rd June; Jurassic Park is on 29th and 30th September; The English Patient and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban are on in October and Star Wars in November.

Choose a film you love and you will have a blast!



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